Monday, February 19, 2007

Dennis L. Sellen dies of non-combat related injuries

SANTA CLARITA - A 20-year-old former College of the Canyons student died this week while serving in Iraq, California Army National Guard officials said Tuesday.

Army Guardsman Spc. Dennis L. Sellen Jr., of Newhall died Sunday of noncombat-related injuries in Umm Qasr, Iraq. Sellen was assigned to the 185th Infantry Regiment, Fresno, according to military officials.

Sellen's family, who lives in Granada Hills, could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

A Blue Star banner, signifying a family member is in the military, hung in a front window. A stained-glass heart was intertwined in the cord of the banner; two pastel-colored doves signifying peace hung nearby. Decking the front porch was a small tin angel holding an American flag, the word "Liberty" inscribed on her wing.

Sellen enlisted in the Alabama National Guard in November 2003, transferring to the California National Guard in March 2006, and was serving his first tour in Iraq.

His death was not cause by hostile fire, and Sellen was the only confirmed casualty in the incident, which is being investigated, said Lt. Theresa Chrystal, a spokeswoman for the California National Guard.

Sellen attended College of the Canyons for one semester as a part-time student in spring 2006.
"It looks like he was interested in graphics, media design and computer networking," said Sue Bozman, a spokeswoman for the college. He attended high school outside of Santa Clarita.

Sellen left on June 24 for training in Camp Shelby, Miss., where many reservists train before being deployed to Iraq. Three months later Sellen left for Iraq, where he was due to remain for one year, said Lt. Theresa Chrystal, a spokeswoman for the California National Guard.

The 1st Battalion, in which Sellen served, provided support for the 16th Military Police Brigade, from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Chrystal said the unit provides convoy security throughout Iraq.

From the Daily News