John Robert Teal began his journey in uniform at a young age. Dressing up in fatigues at his Mechanicsville, Virginia home he would ‘patrol’ the ditches around his home, making sure it was secure in case of a possible invasion. From there, he upgraded to an actual uniform, attending Benedictine College Preparatory where he was a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. While at Benedictine, he was instrumental in instituting a daily military flag ceremony.
Next step was on to college where he attended Virginia Military Institute. Upon graduation, he was commissioned into the Army as a Second Lieutenant at Fort Bragg, N.C. He served with the Army Medical Service Corps assigned to the 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. John rose to the rank of Captain and deployed to Iraq in 2003 where he worked with the Iraqi town councils to rebuild their cities.
On October 23, 2003, John was riding in a convoy when an improvised explosive device detonated, killing him instantly. John was described as a genuinely caring person who was trying to better the lives of those in Iraq. “He was the kind of guy that no one could say anything bad about,” said Frank Boehling, classmate of John’s from Virginia Military Institute. His compassion, heroism and sacrifice will always be remembered on the Global War on Terrorism Shrine at the Virginia War Memorial.