TOLLHOUSE, Calif. (KFSN) -- From their very first date, Meg Gorrell knew there was something very unique about Josh Miller.
"He invited me to play scrabble and I couldn't turn that one down."
Two years ago, the couple left the bay area for a much quieter life in the foothill community of Tollhouse. They loved the serenity of the mountains and picturesque views.
It was a world away from a warzone Miller wanted to forget. He served four years in the marines fighting in the war against terrorism in Iraq. The experience would be life altering, and according to loved ones left deep scars.
"There was one time I think they were under mortar fire or something and him and his buddies were just sitting there in a bunker. They were just all crowded in there standing together and they hear everything going off and just wondering when the next one was going to be them," said Gorrell. "He'd see convoys go out and come back with just boots."
Miller left his home Christmas day and told Gorrell he was headed to the store, but he never returned. His body was found two days later about 10 miles from his house.
Miller took his own life and his family said Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and normal stresses of life were behind the decision.
No one knew just how bad he needed help, including in the hours before he committed suicide.
"He did a lot of apologizing to me in the morning. Which now that I look back, I see what he was doing," said Gorrell.
The Michigan native had a loving family, a young son, and hopeful future.
According to a Veteran's Administration study, more than 20 veterans take their life each day.
The Miller family is among the latest mourning and Miller never sought out counseling or therapy for what his loved ones say are the demons that lived within.
Now, Miller's family is wrapping up the holiday season wishing they stepped in before it was too late.
"Even if you don't think they are that sad. Maybe it's because they might not be showing you how bad they are hurting," said Gorrell.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to get Millers body back to the Midwest.
Family sharing story of veteran's suicide to shed light on vets suffering from war-related depression