The Other 1%

When Marine Sergeant Alex Lemons returned home in July 2008 after the last of his three combat tours, it was almost as if he had landed in a foreign country.

Peter van Agtmael / Magnum for TIME

A recruit at Fort Jackson holds open the door to the mess hall during breakfast hours.

"I felt as alien here as I was in Iraq," the 32-year-old recalls of his return to his native Utah. At home, he says, it was impossible to tell we were a nation at war. He couldn't discuss it with pals "without sounding like a Martian," because they had no idea what the war in Iraq was like. The conversation would bog down, stall and then move on to other topics.

Lemons has moved on too, although his lingering PTSD and upcoming 14th operation on his feet, which were crushed during a fall in Najaf, are reminders of what separates him...

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