- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Army Staff Sgt. Todd W. Selge
Died September 3, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
25, of Burnsville, Minn.; assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; died Sept. 3 in Baqubah, Iraq, of injuries sustained in a vehicle rollover. Also killed was Army Spc. Jordan M. Shay.
Burnsville native dies in Iraq
By Nomaan Merchant
The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Just about everyone at Burnsville High School knew what Todd Selge would do after graduation.
“You hear things about different seniors that are going to be graduating,” said associate principal Bruce Morrissette. “It was very apparent that Todd had a desire to serve his country and felt a duty to do so.”
The 25-year-old staff sergeant was killed Thursday along with another soldier, Spc. Jordan M. Shay, of Salisbury, Mass. The two were injured in a vehicle rollover, according to a release from Fort Lewis, Wash.
Selge’s wife told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he was killed less than a month into his second deployment.
“He was definitely gung-ho about the military,” said Dellona Selge, adding that her husband hoped to return to Minnesota after finishing his service in 2012. “He was going to get out. He wanted to finish up school and move back home and have a regular life.”
The couple has two sons, ages 6 and 2.
Selge enlisted in the Army in 2004, two years after he graduated from high school. He was deployed to Iraq once before and received a Purple Heart.
Before and during his service, Selge made it clear he joined the Army to help others achieve freedom.
“We’ve heard that a lot of insurgents have moved here from Baghdad,” he told the Associated Press in March 2007 while posted in Diyala province, northeast of the Iraqi capital. “The Iraqi army is supposed to be OK here, so we’re coming to help them stand up.”
The following month, he wrote an essay for an internal Army newsletter describing his experiences — carrying out attacks on insurgents, getting to know other soldiers, and handing out candy to children.
“What does the average soldier think on a daily basis?” he wrote. “He wants to accomplish the mission. He wants to see the smiles of the Iraqi people endure. He is grateful for everything he has back home, and he wishes the very same freedom he is fighting for, upon the country of Iraq.”
Though he also played football for three years, Selge stood out in high school due to his commitment to serving in the military one day, according to associate principal Bruce Morrissette.
“A lot of students come and go, but I do remember Todd,” Morrissette said.
The team will hold a moment of silence at its game next Friday for him.
‘Felt a duty’ to serve his country
The Associated Press
Todd W. Selge was a straight-talker who didn’t shy from discussing controversial topics.
“He loved a good political debate, and he loved talking about religion,” said his wife, Dellona. “He loved talking about the real sensitive subjects that a lot of people steer away from.”
The two met when they were seniors at Burnsville (Minn.) High School. Most everyone there knew what Selge would do after graduation in 2002.
“It was very apparent that Todd had a desire to serve his country and felt a duty to do so,” associate principal Bruce Morrissette said.
Selge enlisted in 2004, months before his wedding, and deployed in 2006 to Iraq, where he was shot twice and earned a Purple Heart.
The 25-year-old from Burnsville, Minn., returned for a second tour and died Sept. 3 in Baqubah, Iraq, from injuries sustained in a vehicle rollover the previous day. He was assigned to Fort Lewis, Wash.
The former high school football player hoped to return to Minnesota after finishing his service in 2012, his wife said.
“He was going to get out,” she said. “He wanted to finish up school and move back home and have a regular life.”
Selge is also survived by two sons, ages 6 and 2.