Fallen Hero SSGT Todd W. Selge, United States Army

SSGT Todd W. Selge

June 22, 1984 - September 3, 2009
U.S. Army

Todd was born in Anchorage, Alaska and moved with his family to Burnsville, MN when he was four years old. He was the youngest of four children born to Paul and Barbara Selge. Paul states that “Todd gave his heart to Jesus when he was 13 years old after he nearly burned the house down. He had fallen asleep with a candle and he was awakened by his dad with flames to the ceiling. He felt that God had saved him for a reason.” The family also shared with me the many beautiful papers (including poetry) that Todd had written as a student, professing his faith in God. This prompted me to create a background in the painting where Todd would be surrounded by his own words of faith. We think he would approve, since he always loved to share his beliefs with others. Some very special times for Todd also included mission trips to Chicago and the Ukraine.

The following is another story shared by the family: “The day after 9/11/01 Todd went to high school dressed as Captain America with a large American flag as a cape. He was told to remove the flag by the assistant principal. At lunchtime he went to the school parking lot and replaced the flag but he was suspended from school for three days. The following year at his graduation, he hid a flag cape under his black graduation gown and pulled it out when he had his diploma in hand.”

After two years of college, Todd enlisted in the Army and attended Infantry Basic Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. In December of 2004 he married his high school sweetheart, Dellona.

Todd was deployed to Iraq in 2006 with his Stryker Brigade. He was wounded in the thigh and the buttocks during the first days of the Surge Offensive in Diyala Province in March 2007. A comrade recalled that Todd passed out his ammunition and grenades and refused a stretcher ride to the medevac helicopter saying, “I’m walking out of here on my own.” After three months of recovery he volunteered to return to Iraq to complete his unit’s tour.

In 2009 Todd turned down a recruiting assignment in order to redeploy with his unit to Diyala Province, Iraq. After less than two weeks into his 2nd deployment , Todd died with his good friend, Sgt. Jordan Shay, when his Stryker armored vehicle rolled off a damaged bridge during night operations.

A friend remembers, “Todd taught me everything. He showed me how to be an amazing husband and dad, not to take things for granted, and to live every day as if it would be your last.”

Todd had two sons, Dallas and Austin, who were six and two when they lost their father. Besides his wife, children and parents, Todd is survived by his brother (Brent), and two sisters (Tracy & Kara). He is laid to rest in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, MN.

Portrait sponsored by:
- Joel and Dawn Dubbels