Over 5,000 men and women have died serving the United States in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This is a project about who they were - sons, daughters, sisters, brothers - and the bedrooms which they once called their own.

About This Project

These bedrooms once belonged to men and women who died fighting in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These fallen men and women were blown up by IEDs, RPGs, hand grenades and suicide bombers. They were shot down in ambushes and by snipers. They died in helicopters, in humvees, and in tanks. It all took place thousands of miles away from home, and the country they fought to defend.

The purpose of this project is to honor these fallen – not simply as soldiers, marines, airmen and seamen, but as sons, daughters, sisters and brothers – and to remind us that before they fought, they lived, and they slept, just like us, at home.

Bedrooms of the Fallen was conceived in 2007 as a way to memorialize soldiers and marines who died in Iraq. It was expanded to include casualties from Afghanistan in 2009. The project is a work in progress, and ongoing. The initial goal is to photograph forty bedrooms, and publish a book of the work. If your family has an intact room, and would like to be involved, please visit the participate page.

Ashley Gilbertson would like to thank his wife, Joanna Gilbertson, for conceiving the idea for this project; Kathy Ryan, the director of photography at The New York Times Magazine, whose belief in this project took it to the next level and beyond; Martin Fuchs for his patience while assisting on assignment and his diligence on the creation of this website; and David Hazan, from Picture House New York, for his sensitivity and attention to detail. Above all, Mr. Gilbertson would like to thank the families who generously shared their rooms and stories and invested their trust and children’s memories in this project:

Doris & Carl Anderson
Beverly & Rainer Bosselmann
Mary & Paul Bradshaw
Jane & Hampton Caughman
Mary Jane & Danny Craig
Leslie Elliot
Ginger & LJ Emerson
Debra & Ron Etheridge
Theresa & Michael Gilbert
JoAnn Lyles & Christian Haerter
Mary & Rick Langenbrunner
Ruth & Augustin Lau
Audrey Nichka
Victoria A Roos & Wilfredo Perez
Janet & Tim Scherer
Pamala & John Simon
Luanne & Glenn Sweet
Frances & Nils M. Thompson
Lisa & Steven Xiarhos

About The Photographer

Ashley Gilbertson is a photojournalist with the VII Network photo agency. Gilbertson’s photographs from Iraq where he worked from 2002 until 2008, gained him recognition from the Overseas Press Club who awarded Gilbertson the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal for his 2004 work in Falluja. His first book, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, was released in 2007. Since then, Gilbertson has been working on Bedrooms Of The Fallen, a collection of photographs depicting the intact bedrooms of service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, a substantial part of the project was commissioned by The New York Times Magazine and published in March of 2010. Gilbertson meanwhile continues to concentrate on the two wars by examining veterans issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide for Time Magazine and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He lives with his wife and child in New York City.


All photographs Copyright Ashley Gilbertson
Website designed and built by Martin Fuchs
Flash development by Markus Rossler

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