August 08, 2014 Two tours in Afghanistan took a toll on Joshua Ploetz. The former Marine was injured in a roadside bomb. He lost friends in combat, and later, to suicide. When the Winona, Minn., resident returned from the war eight years ago, he was coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, the fallout from a minor stroke and other injuries. Adapting to civilian life proved difficult. Ploetz said he had an overwhelming feeling of being "lost." This summer, Ploetz found direction — and became an inspiration — paddling a canoe the length of the Mississippi River.