Gripping Photos of Fallen Soldiers’ Bedrooms

A photographer’s images of domestic tranquility pay tribute to U.S. service members

Cpl Nicholas G Xiarhos bedroom
© Ashley Gilbertson / VII

Marine Cpl. Nicholas G. Xiarhos

The bedroom of Marine Cpl. Nicholas G. Xiarhos of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. Xiarhos died at age 21 in Afghanistan in 2009. Ashley Gilbertson has photographed 43 such rooms, in the United States and other NATO nations, and he is seeking more. "It's a way of connecting with who they were," says Gilbertson, who covered the Iraq war as a photojournalist for six years. His project is a kind of continual Memorial Day observance. For the parents, especially, he says, "it's important that their son or daughter is not forgotten."

Army Pfc. Karina S. Lau

The bedroom of Army Pfc. Karina S. Lau, 21, of Livingston, California. Lau died when her helicopter was shot down by insurgents on November 2, 2003, in Fallujah, Iraq.

Army Spc. Wilfredo Perez Jr.

The bedroom of Army Spc. Wilfredo Perez Jr., 24, in Norwalk, Connecticut. Perez was killed in a grenade attack on July 26, 2003, in Baqubah, Iraq.

Marine Cpl. Christopher G. Scherer

The bedroom of Marine Cpl. Christopher G. Scherer, 21, in East Northport, New York. Scherer was killed by a sniper on July 21, 2007, in Karmah, Iraq.

Army Pfc. Richard P. Langenbrunner

The bedroom of Army Pfc. Richard P. Langenbrunner, 19, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Langenbrunner committed suicide on April 17, 2007, in Rustimayah, Iraq.

Army Cpl. Matthew J. Emerson

The bedroom of Army Cpl. Matthew J. Emerson, 20, in Grandview, Washington. Emerson was killed when his vehicle rolled over on September 18, 2007, in Mosul, Iraq.

Army Pfc. Thomas Day Caughman

The bedroom of Army Pfc. Thomas Day Caughman, 20, in Lexington, South Carolina. Caughman was killed in an RPG attack on June 9, 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq.

Army Cpl. Brandon M. Craig

The bedroom of Army Cpl. Brandon M. Craig, 25, in Earleville, Maryland. Craig was killed with an improvised explosive device, IED, during an attack on July 19, 2007 in Husayniyah, Iraq.