Remembering the fallen

Provided This image of the late Airman 1st Class Carl Anderson, Jr.’s bedroom is featured as a two-page spread in the new book “Bedrooms of the Fallen” by Ashley Gilbertson. Aug. 29 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Georgetown native’s death.

Ten years ago, one of Georgetown’s own was lost in war.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Carl L. Anderson, Jr. died on Aug. 29, 2004 after hitting a roadside bomb in Mosul, Iraq.

This year, his memory is honored not just by those who knew him, but globally with the debut of the book “Bedrooms of the Fallen” by Ashley Gilbertson. The book focuses on photography by the author, who took pictures of 40 bedrooms of fallen soldiers preserved in memorial by their families.

The bedrooms are from American, Canadian and a few European soldiers.

Among the 40 is Anderson’s bedroom.

“My wife and I, and the girls, and our little granddaughter, we felt honored that they would even contact us and include him in the book,” said the airman’s father, Rep. Carl L. Anderson, Sr.

Anderson said Gilbertson contacted the family several years ago about the book, and visited their home in the Kensington community of Georgetown during March 2009 to photograph his son’s bedroom.

The book came out on June 27, 2014. Anderson said the author sent his family a copy.

“It was amazing to get it. We were very honored we were contacted for this, and that the writing took the time out to do all of this and to come here,” he said.

Reminders of the late Anderson’s contributions to Georgetown are also visible in the city on U.S. Route 701; roughly between the road’s intersection with Anthuan Maybank Drive and Wedgefield Plantation, it is marked as Airman 1st Class Carl L. Anderson, Jr. Memorial Road.

“We applauded the folks then, the General Assembly and city and county officials, for doing that and we live in Kensington, so that was a road he traveled a lot, and that’s the road that was dedicated in memory of him.”

Anderson graduated from Georgetown High School in 2001 and was voted “most popular” in his senior class.

“He was a fun person, always smiling and making you laugh,” remembered his father. “Very cheerful. But he was also serious about his work. He was one of those go-getters. He always made friends. He left behind not only a family, but a host of friends also.”

Anderson was assigned to the 3rd Logistics Readiness Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska.

“He was in transportation in the Air Force, and he asked if he could drive the vehicle that Sunday morning, and they hit a roadside bomb.”

This year he would have turned 31 years old on Aug. 25, his father said, only four days short of the 10-year anniversary.

And while it may be 10 years later, Anderson said to him and his family, it feels like it was only yesterday.

“There’s a constant reminder, we think about him on a daily basis.”