He got out of his truck. A woman sat in the passenger seat.
He said her name was Sherry. They had just met, and he was helping her move. Jessica didn't believe him.
I thought: Didn't I attend this young couple's fairy tale wedding just 10 days ago? Now, here they were, in a gas station parking lot, creating a spectacle.
Jessica grilled Miller. He bobbed and weaved. He appeared sober and sullen. Then he dropped a bomb. He didn't want her anymore and had filed for divorce.
"You guys might want to go home and talk," I suggested.
There, the tortured dialogue escalated.
Jessica pleaded with Blake to stop and think. They could quit drinking, she said. They'd get help for him and as a couple. Maybe they could move away -- anything to work it out.
Miller slumped on the couch. I sensed his unease and feared he would become violent, so I stayed for a while even though I felt intrusive. But he remained strangely calm, albeit brooding and distant.
I returned the next morning. He called his attorney and put the phone on speaker. If uncontested, the lawyer said, the divorce would become final in 60 days. Jessica went to the fire escape to gather herself.
Miller remained unmoved, chain-smoking. The local newspaper had been calling him about rumors that he was getting divorced. It was a major local story. Finally, he wrote a statement. He asked for compassion and respect for their privacy.
The next day, I found Miller in a back bedroom at his uncle's house. He told me that he had come close to committing suicide the night before. He had thought about driving his motorcycle off the edge of a mountain road.
He showed me the morning newspaper. His divorce was the lead story.
I felt torn. I didn't want to get involved. I desperately wanted to close the book on Iraq. But if I hadn't taken Miller's picture, this very personal drama wouldn't be front-page news. I felt responsible.
Sometimes, when things get hard to witness, I use my camera as a shield. It creates a space for me to work -- and distance to keep my eyes open and my feelings in check. But Miller had no use for a photojournalist. He needed a helping hand.
I flashed back to the chaos of combat in Fallouja. In the rattle and thunder, brick walls separated me from the world coming to an end. In the tight spaces, we were scared mindless. Everybody dragged deeply on cigarettes.
Above the din, I heard what everybody was thinking: This is the end.
I've never felt so completely alone.
I snapped back to the present, and before I knew it, the words spilled out.
"I have to ask you something, Blake," I said. "If I'd gone down in Fallouja, would you have carried me out?"
"Damn straight," he said, without hesitation.
"OK then," I said. "I think you're wounded pretty badly. I want to help you."
He looked at me for a moment. "All right," he said.