October 23, 2003
John Robert (J.R.) Teal began his journey in uniform at a young age. He would dress up in fatigues at his Mechanicsville, VA, home and ‘patrol’ the ditches to make sure they were safe. Then he upgraded to an actual uniform at Benedictine College Preparatory as a member of the JROTC. He attended Virginia Military Institute, and upon graduation he was commissioned Second Lieutenant at Ft. Bragg, NC where he served with the Army Medical Service Corps assigned to 2nd Brigade 4th Infantry Division. J.R rose to the rank of Captain and deployed to Iraq in 2003 where he worked with the Iraqi town councils to rebuild their cities.
J.R always had a way of making us laugh and loved music especially the Dave Matthews Band. He had often been heard saying ‘If I’m not having fun, it’s not worth doing”. While J.R. was stationed in Hawaii he got involved in triathlons and completed Ironman Australia and was always talking about his training and racing.
He was very compassionate, caring and knew he had a purpose in Iraq, and when he discovered that a young Iraqi girl had severely swollen tonsils he immediately drove into town to get the certificate required for the much needed medical care. He knew it was risky but also knew he had a job to do. One of his frequent requests to his mom was to send candy so that he could distribute it among the children. J.R had a huge heart. His memorial plaque at VMI reads “He never met a stranger”