I never met Chris Scherer, even though he was from my hometown of East Northport and even though my sister and her children knew him well.
But I do feel I know him at least a little bit after getting to peek into his bedroom, as seen in Photo No. 3 in this haunting series of images from the rooms of fallen soldiers.
Scherer was a Marine serving in Iraq when he died at age 21 in 2007. Here is a story about him that appeared in Newsday shortly thereafter.
What is striking about the picture of his room in The New York Times Magazine montage is how familiar it all seems, how it could have belonged to any very young man, and how much sports is a part of the memorably cluttered scene.
The Northport lacrosse pillow and letters. The Islanders pennant. The Giants helmet. The Pierre Turgeon, Phoenix Suns and Mets caps. The Colts coffee cup. The sports-themed wallpaper. And more.
What does it mean? I don't know. Just take it as a reminder that the men and women representing us in Iraq, Afghanistan and other dangerous places are no different from the ones safe at home.
Which only makes their sacrifices that much more profound.
Happy Passover, Happy Easter and Happy Opening Day.
See you next week.