A Marine private first-class returns from Afghanistan to his hometown in time for a welcoming party for him during homecoming week; however, when he arrives, he staggers in, mortally wounded, then collapses and dies; Gibbs and company investigate; Ducky says that death resulted from stab wounds. Ziva spots a piece of evidence, but it becomes hard to obtain it; Tony and Ziva find that the victim had started with a disadvantaged childhood, became adopted into a military family, then enlisted in the Marine Corps and established an impeccable record. Abby finds some interesting electronic evidence, then Tony and McGee find something while hiking, and McGee makes some new friends. Abby makes important discoveries; the gang learn about multiple identities, a forged letter, stolen funds, and a hidden relationship, and they rescue from death a man who then dies. Eventually they put the pieces together, and they get help for someone who needs help.