Mobile homes and battered cars dot the rugged ranges. Marijuana is a major cash crop. Addiction to methamphetamine and prescription drugs is rampant.
Miller showed me around. At an abandoned mine, he walked carefully around a large, shallow pool of standing water that mirrored the green wilderness and springtime sky. He picked up a chunk of coal.
"Around here, this is what it's all about," he said. "Nothing else.
"It was this or the Marines."
Often brooding and sullen, Miller joked about being "21 going on 70," the result, he said, of humping heavy armor and gear on a 6-foot, 160-pound frame.
Before he was allowed to leave Iraq, he attended a mandatory "warrior transitioning" session about PTSD and adjusting to home life.
Each Marine received a questionnaire. Were they having trouble sleeping? Did they have thoughts of suicide? Did they feel guilt about their actions?
Everybody knew the drill. Answer yes and be evaluated further. Say no and go home.
Miller said he didn't want to miss his flight. He answered no to every question.
He returned to Camp Lejeune, N.C. His high school sweetheart, Jessica Holbrooks, joined him there, and they were married in a civil ceremony.
Then came the nightmares and hallucinations. He imagined shadowy figures outside the windows. Faces of the dead haunted his sleep.
Once, while cleaning a shotgun, he blacked out. He regained consciousness when Jessica screamed out his name. Snapping back to reality, he realized he was pointing the gun at her.
He reported the problems to superiors, who promised to get him help.
Then came a single violent episode, which put an end to his days as a Marine.
It happened in the storm-tossed Gulf of Mexico in September 2005. His unit had been sent to New Orleans to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Now a second giant storm, Hurricane Rita, was moving in, and the Marines were ordered to seek safety out at sea.
In the claustrophobic innards of a rolling Navy ship, someone whistled. The sound reminded Miller of a rocket- propelled grenade. He attacked the sailor who had whistled. He came to in the boat's brig. He was medically discharged with a "personality disorder" on Nov. 10, 2005 -- exactly one year after his picture made worldwide news.
Back home in Kentucky, the Millers settled into a sparsely furnished second-story apartment. Four small windows afforded little light. The TV was always on.
Miller bought a motorcycle and went for long rides. He and Jessica drank all night and slept all day. He started collecting a monthly disability benefit of about $2,500. The couple spent hours watching movies on DVD, Coronas and bourbon cocktails in hand. Friends and family gave them space.