Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Army Capt. John R. Teal

31, of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
Teal died of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device exploded while in a convoy in Baqubah, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on October 23, 2003.

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". I remember how often you had visits with the Colonel and small chats on your way to see him."
SGT(veteran) Chaderton of Killeen TX

"It's hard to believe it's coming up on 13 years... I think of J.R. often and still remember the day I met him at the Sugar Bar when we were both stationed in Hawaii in 1997. He had me laughing from the get-go. I hope it brings his family some comfort that his memory still lives on and he truly touched the lives of those who knew him."

"We were thinking of JR today and wanted to pass along that we remember him so fondly. He won't ever be forgotten."
Kevin and Gwen Bazzrea of Hanover,Va/USA

"I had the honor of having John join me for the West Coast Thunder Memorial Ride 2016, for fallen veterans. over 6000 riders attended, and honored those that gave all. Thank you Capt. John Robert Teal, one day I too will visit your resting place to thank you in person. God bless......."
Will Scroggins of Riverside Ca. U.S.A.

"June 12, 2015
To John's family and those who knew him - I have visited John's gravesite on numerous occasions over the years and there are always numerous stones and coins left in his honor by the many that have visited. This is truly evidence that John touched many lives and has not been forgotten."
Former CA Teammate

"John..your antics will forever fill my heart my friend. Thank you for your friendship and always smiling! See you in heaven one day soon till then I will carry you in my heart!"
Bobbie Jackson of Austin Texas

"To CPT Teal's family. You are not forgotten."
TC, an OIF veteran

"Thinking of you. Miss you tons."
Rebekah T.

"JR you have and will always remain in our Heeke family's hearts and memory. We are so very proud to have known you as a dear friend. Rest peacefully for you lived a full life well beyond your 31 years on this earth. You fought and died for our freedom, the ultimate sacrifice....."
Margy Heeke of Richmond, VA

"Capt. Teal,
Sir, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy."
Mike Casey of El Paso, Texas


The "On Time" boys are always thinking of you man. We raise a toast to you every single time we get together."
Joe, Derek, Clay, McGee of Boston, MA

"JR, we stopped by to visit you today. When thinking about our time at VMI, I don't think there was a single person who didn't like you."
Will Gorman of Falls Church,VA

"Miss you everyday, bro."
Jim Todd of Winston Salem, NC USA

"Never a day without you brother."
S Ford

"I miss you and still think of you often J.R., this is always my saddest day of the year, but I'm better for having known you."
Jim Bratina...VMI 94' of Huntersville, NC

"Coming up on 9 years, wow.
I worked with John for a just a little over a month Ė I was an Apache Pilot / Aviation Liaison officer attached to the Warhorse plans team weeks after entering Iraq. Johnís humor made everyday worth getting up for. He brought a sense of comfort and light to an otherwise drab place. The short time I had the privilege of working with John, George Wood, Burris, and many more, were some of the best days of my first year in Iraq.
Some of the antics, jokes, and comments still make me laugh today. Images of John, the first to fall ill to a stomach virus that ended up hitting all of us, running towards a make shift latrine with a true look of concern on his faceÖ.John coming into the plans cell with a new, large can of nuts he received as a part of the nut of the month club asking everyone if they would like to partake in hisÖ or when he tried to convince me the first day that I arrived that I had to go to dig a fighting position, asking if I wanted to borrow his e-tool. I returned to my aviation unit before John was killed. The news shocked and sadden me. John Ė thank you for the laughs, for playing the air wolf theme song every time I came in the plans tent, and for making me feel welcome. You are missed and will never be forgot. Till Fiddlerís Green brother.
Jeff Papaleo Ė US Army Aviation Officer 97-07"
Jeffrey Papaleo of Milwaukee, Wi

"I miss you bro"
Wendell of Bluffton, SC

"You are now one for the angels...."
Wil perry of Hopewell, VA

"Almost 8 years since you left us and I still miss you like crazy. Your nephew just asked to see a picture of "uncle J.R" so I pulled up this site. I wish you could have met your niece and nephew, but I see you in them everyday!"
Liz of Virginia

"Almost 7 years since you left us and I still miss you like crazy. Your nephew just asked to see a picture of "uncle J.R" so I pulled up this site. I wish you could have met your niece and nephew, but I see you in them everyday!"
Liz of Virginia

"Dear Mr. and Mrs Teal,
I just want to let you know that CPT Tealís sacrifice was not in vain. He had made a positive impact as now Iraq is a relatively stable nation in the region.
I met CPT Teal on several occasions in FOB Warhorse and Civil Military Operation Center (CMOC) in Baquoba, Diyala Province. He had helped the local Iraqis to rebuild their medical facilities. On 22 OCT 2003, I chatted briefly with CPT Teal in CMOC during a luncheon given by local Iraqis in appreciation of the helps from U.S officialsí, to include CPT Teal. It was a sumptuous banquet with lamb, chicken, and all sorts of other local fares which were a welcome relief from normal cafeteria foods. I remembered his friendly smile.
On another occasion, several local Iraqi medical doctors were so appreciative of CPT Tealís help that they told me that they would donate their own blood for CPT Teal if the occasion arises. The next day after CPT Tealís sacrifice, our forces caught the perpetrator who planted the mine based on voluntary information provided by locals. In retrospect, it spoke of CPT Tealís contribution to the local Iraqis in Diyala Province who felt compelled to forward with the information.
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Teal for raising such a fine son and letting him serve our country. I pray that you would experience the peace that surpasses all understanding.
CPT Tealís and your sacrifice will never be forgotten.
TC Chen, tichsa@hotmail.com"
TC Chen of Alexandria, VA

"To the Teal Family, I often think about JR and the friendship that we had. I tell stories about him to my wife, children, and anyone else thatís around when Iím reminded of him. He isnít forgotten.

1SG Wendell Hardwick
Co. A 1st Bn 118th IN, SCARNG"
Wendell Hardwick of Bluffton, SC

"As the BHS and SGHS Class of 1990 get together this weekend to celebrate our 20th year high school reunion we will take time to remember JR - our classmate and friend. He will be remembered and truly missed!"
Mary Beth Quist of Alexandria, VA

"John you are always in my thoughts. I still remember our phone call like it was yesterday. If only I would of know what was going to happen the next day. I miss you and our crazy trips to Austin."
Rebekah Thompson-LeMaire of Fort Campbell, KY

"To the family of CPT John Teal: I have wanted to express for some time now my sorrow to you all after John's death back in Oct 2003. I had previously trained with John out at the NTC in CA in 2002. John was always so thoughtful, respectful, and conscientious in his interactions with all of his military brothers and sisters. Eventually I was reassigned at Ft. Hood as a flight surgeon prior to deploying at the start of OIF in 2003. And so in deploying I was in a different unit (2/4 AVN BN 4ID) than John but staged with CPT Teal in Kuwait in April 2003. I still remember having breakfast at the DFAC in Kuwait with John prior to our unit deploying into Iraq. I did not think that those would be our last goodbyes. And I was stunned when hearing of the untimely death of CPT Teal. I was recently at Arlington National Cemetery in VA and visited and prayed at John's gravesite. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and with John on this Memorial Day 2010."
LTC Christopher Powers of recently at WBAMC, Ft. Bliss USA

"JR, you will never be forgotten. I'll tell my children your story this memorial day. The Institute will be heard from today Brother Rat. '94 '94 '94!"
LtCol P of Lynchburg, Va.

"God bless you JR"
liz of sa/tx/usa

"6 years; miss ya!"
jo of nva

"JR, We love and miss you Brother Rat."
Tim Bailey '94 of Kabul, Afghanistan

"John really touched my life in 2002 when I came back from New Zealand. He was a very special person that I hold dear to my heart. I will always cherish the letters I have from him while he was in Iraq and will always remember the things we talked about and how proud he was of his country. I was so excited when I received his last letter just 3 days before his passing. I have never forgotten anything about him and how thoughtful he was even if we didn't see each other that often. This man was one of a kind and we will miss him always and he will never be forgotten."
Lauren A. Pace of Burleson,TX USA

"Five years..you are missed and loved always."
Melinda of NVa

"September 29, 2008
To the family of Capt. John R. Teal:
John gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"John -

Like George Wood, it has been almost five years since you left us. What I miss most was the opportunity to say good-bye to you as I did George face to face. I saw you only a few days before you left us, and I still remember our last conversation and how much you made me laugh. I miss your smile, you riding around the FOB on your bike, but most importantly your friendship. I will never forget you."
CPT Philip Staten of Arlington, VA

"John and family,
I remember like it was yesterday when I heard of John's death. I got a rare phone call from my Husband George whom was in Baqubah with John. He told me the sad news and although I had spent a few moments with John at Hail and Farewells, and the occasional night out, he was the type of guy you just didn't forget. He was full of life which is why it is so hard to understand why he would be taken so young when he had so much life left to live, so many lives yet to touch. I'm sorry you are gone from our lives, and I'm sorry for all of those who loved you and love you still. I hope you and George have united in Heaven and look down upon us and know you are missed and loved."

"I remember seeing the story on television and breaking down. We were both "Cay-dets" at Benedictine. J.R. possessed an enthusiasm and wit that I admired. I never heard a negative or hurtful statement leave his mouth, but I sure got an earful of jokes! J.R. could make the most mundane, tedious training enjoyable. Just a remarkable young man that would do anything for someone in need. I truly felt that this was a guy that would do something special with his life. I shipped out of Kuwait shortly before J.R passed and continue to serve partly to honor him and the others who have given their all. Thank you J.R., you were a great friend and continue to motivate me to take life with a grain of salt- and a bunch of humor."
BM1 (EXW) Landon Bell of Richmond Virginia

"Four years and I still think of J.R. "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.""
Louis B. Louis IV, MD of Columbus, Ohio

"It's been 4 years now, and I still think about you and all the friends I left behind every day. Just know that you are never forgotten, and you live on in our lives. Anytime I dwell on something bad, I remember your goofy smile and how you would tell me to live life and go for whatever I wanted. Miss you bro."
Chi Szeto of Hermosa Beach, CA

"To the family of CPT Teal, JR

I was at VMI with JR and we were both in the local Guard Company together in Lexington. I was very saddend and shocked to hear of his death from another VMI guy. I recall our time at the "I" with lots of fondness. JR's spirit was infectious to me and others around him. I had not seen him since graduation when I got the news. The other memorial messages on this page are not surprising but a tribute to his great character."
CPT Dupras of Kodiak, Alaska

"To the Teal Family:
I had the honor of knowing your son for a brief time while he was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio,TX. We last corresponded while he was stationed in Hawaii and spoke about reconnecting at some time to catch up on our lives, unfortunately that was not to be. He truly was proud of his life in the military and spoke often of you all and the special times you spent together as a family. He was also quite the comedian and I feel blessed to have known him even if it was for a short time. I feel badly that I am just now, almost 4 years later, learning of his death. My prayers are with your family as I know that he is still missed every day."
Sincerely, Yvette Santellanes Sanders of San Antonio, TX

"With Memorial Day approaching, I look back and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brother's and sisters who gave so much. I remember CPT John Teal and his sacrifice. I served for few months with SGT Myers and SGT Bartles and remember that fateful day. CPT Teal was very well liked and respected and I will never forget him. He treated every soldier regardless of rank with respect across the board and for those of us who knew him, we are very grateful for his contributions and saddened by his death. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless."
Jason A. Crippen of Kansas City, MO USA

"Thinking about you this Memorial Day. God Bless your family."
SFC Robert L. Coleman II of Camp Atterbury, IN, USA

"I worked for CPT Teal at the 2BDE Surgeon Section. John was a great person. The months we were together in in our small section tent and the many conversations we had I will always carry with me. It was an honor knowing him"
SFC (Retired) Alfredo Martiz of Killeen, TX

"To the Family of Capt. John R. Teal:

I happened across your son's memorial in "Fallen Heroes Memorial" and was struck by your writings about him. Your son sounds so much like my brother, whom we lost on December 3, 2006. He was quite similar to your son in personality and in age when he died. And, I share with you the knowledge of knowing that your loved one would not return home. You have my greatest condolences and best wishes for your family. As the speaker for a service honoring my brother reminded us, "God loves warriors - remember David. And, Job remained faithful in God after loosing all of his children and nearly everything he owned." God has a special place for our lost warriors and keep your faith in God in these heartbreaking times - God will restore and reward."
Kervin of Dunlap, IL

"I have John's letters in a folder by my bed and I haven't been able to go back and read them without crying since he died...especially the handwritten ones..most of you know he kept a diary and sent that out via email. It was the handwritten notes he mailed me that meant the most. He tried to contact me several days before he died and I wasn't at the computer when his instant message came through, it still bothers me to this day I didn't get one more conversation with him. I miss him so much."
Melinda of Virginia

"To the family of:John R. Teal I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"My heart breaks for the family and friends of John for the incredible loss of this tremendous young man.

I cannot begin to express my deepest gratitude for the men and women of our military for their service to our great nation. I am so grateful because I believe they are fighting now so that my children may never have to.

My life has been touched by John's story. To his family, I thank you for raising such a man. To his friends, you are better because you knew him.

May God bless each of you. I will pray for you and continue to pray for our soldiers and their families."
Katrina of Queensbury, NY

"John was a good friend and soldier and he will be greatly missed. I worked with John in Hawaii -- He was our Medical Platoon Leader.

Mrs Teal, I am truly sorry for your loss."
Major Tim Kohn of Fort Bragg

"Every once in a while, I'll look for John Teal's name on these sites just to remember him. Somehow it helps just to see that it was real. I stumbled across this one by chance. The morning of OCT 23, CPT Teal and I joked about who had had the "closer calls" while in Iraq. The jokes broke the tension of the rattled nerves from the morning's grenade attack on the back gate. A few others and myself had captured two. Finally a sense of accomplishment in a war with few moments like that. CPT Teal, Jared Meyers and Chuck Bartles went out on a mission shortly thereafter. Bartles and Meyers were to relieve us on gate duty. When they weren't back on time I knew something was wrong. Perched up on the roof, I saw our NCOIC tell CPT Lupomec and Drew something that made Lupo's shoulders shrink. He was a big man and I knew something was terribly wrong. Not a day goes by where I don't think of that day. To John's family, I'm sorry for your loss and thank you for our chance to know him. John always wore a smile and was quick to make you do the same. I'll never forget him."
SSG Stiffler, 418th CA BN of Ventura, CA

"" Cpt. Teal you will never be forgotten. Cpt Teal was a good man and will always be missed." To the family I am sorry for your loss."
Scott Diller AKA Warhorse Mic. of Akron OH Scott.diller@hotmail.com

"Friends of John,

I was the brigade surgeon with 2BCT 4ID in Baqubah when John was killed. He was my medical planner. We had worked together for about 8 months while we prepared for deployment. I remember driving into Iraq from Kuwait with John driving our humvee early in 2003. I remember struggling to put up a tent during a fierce windstorm the night we arrived in Baqubah. Reading through the messages that have been placed on this site, I can picture John with many of the messengers. I especially remember John in the planning tent and the long hours he spent keeping our section running.

I also remember Johnís mountain bike. Who rides a mountain bike in an FOB in Iraq, especially in 2003? John was unique. Iíll always remember speaking at his memorial service.

I remember him introducing himself at a brigade function before we deployed. Itís the first time I met him. I sat with my wife and CPT Szeto on one side off the table. CPT Teal and CPT Woods sat on the other. Only Chi and I came home. I honor the sacrifice that these great soldier made for our country.

John, we will meet again."
MAJ Jason Stokes of Austin, TX


"I only knew John through my son Sgt. Jared L Myers, injured in the horrible explosion that took John's life. Jared spoke highly of John and this message has been repeated in these heartfelt messages and in talks with his mother. I know the hell Jared has been through since that day, and I cannot imagine the hell his mother and family has been through. I do know that Jared thinks of John everyday. Jared's son, Elijah Teal Myers is a reminder to Jared of John's bravery and utilmate sacrafice for his country. Jared will never forget. . . .neither will I.

John, You will not be forgotten.

Sincerly and with all do respect,

Judy Y. Smith
Proud mother of
Stg. Jared L. Myers"
Judy Y. Smith of Overland Park, KS

"Dear Mr and Mrs Teal.

I have wanted to write to you for a long time now, but did not have your mailing address so was not able to do so. I wanted for you to know, and I know that I speak for the entire Heeke family when I say that J.R. is still very alive in our hearts and in our memories. We speak of him often, and my husband I have his military picture which was published in the Washington Post, displayed in our home. This picture serves as a constant reminder of him, and the ultimate sacrifice he made for our county.

I would love to hear from you. And can be reached through the information listed below. Sincerely

Marguerite (Margy) Heeke Nyika
5550 Columbia Pike # 833
Arlington, VA 22204
Marguerite Heeke Nyika of Arlington , Virginia

"I am so very sorry for the loss of this dearly loved young man, John. I want you to know that I read his name tonight in a candlelight vigil of remembrance in my home town. May you find comfort in knowing we shared and honored the loss of him from this world."
Mary Holcomb of Willits, CA

"I miss J.R. As a classmate at VMI, I could always look toward J.R. as a calming voice. I now see the medical center named after him. As we train those doctors going overseas, I think of J.R. Someday, I hope we may yet meet again."
Louis B. Louis MD of Miami, FL

"October 23, 2003 will be forever burned in my mind. I was in the convoy with Capt. Teal. I didn't really know him, never said two words to him, but he will always be in my thoughts, his family in my prayers. A cowardly act took his life, and some of the humanity of those that survived. A day does not go by without that image flashing in my head. I got my first taste of the horrors of war that day, and believe me, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You were another soldier who's time on this Earth was too short. I wish in that time I had gotten the chance to know you. Your death was untimely, but your life is eternal. I may have not known you that well, but you are a brother, a brother-in-arms. Your death will not be in vain, Sir. "Lest We Forget"."
Sgt. John W.C. Martz of Scotia, NY

"Thank you for John R. Teal, i to am a father of the gold star and lost my son november 12,04 our son's didn't die in vain,thier tribute to freedom will have made the world a safer place for generations to come. They are among our truest patriots and history will tell how great this generation is to have sacrificed so much to bring peace to the world. I pray God gives you comfort in your great loss. thank you for your son,brother, and friend."

"In late Sept of 2003 I first met Capt. Teal. At first I disliked the idea of another officer my team had to support. During the following month I learned to respect him and eventually began to call him a friend. The two nights before we hit that mine, during a planning meeting for the following days we discovered that we each had similar interest. I had about 75-100 CD's and he had DvDs that I had not seen. For us in that place that became our release from the world. I must have spent a good 2 hours a night talking with him about movies and music. Those 2 nights we became normal people again, just 2 friends talking about nothing to forget our situation. That was the first gift that he gave me, a small vacation from that hell hole, and I would like to think that he felt the same way. As every vacation must come to an end so did ours and we found our selfs back to the grind of a combat environment. The morning of Oct 23 was confusing from the beginning. With a bomb at the back gate for our wake-up and our nerves shot from lack of sleep Capt Teal remained steadfast and still did his job 100% correctly 100% of the time. So we left for our mission and I never thought it would be the last time I would see him. His job was to run the mission and mine was security. He did his and I failed mine, I should have paid the price for my mistake but in the end it was him. A second chance at life was the second gift he gave me weather he wanted to or not. After the blast I did what I could but the damage was too much so I watched and it was as though I saw the life leave his eyes. When a person with a heart as big as Capt Teals passes, the world stands still in homage to him. Mr and Mrs Teal I am so sorry for your loss, I can never repay you for your sacrifice. I can never make things good between him and I. I often wish it was me who died that day, the way it was supposed to be. He was a great man, a good friend, and will always be my hero.

A golden heart warms the earth with sacrifice, lesser men will reap the benifit, but he will never be forgotten and gains everlasting salvation."
Sgt Jared Myers of Lawrence, KS/USA

"I knew John for two years. We went to the field together. We went to NTC (Fort Irwin) together. We eventually went to war together.

John was always the one to bring everyone's spirits up, whether it was cracking the occasional joke, or just looking at you in his typical sarcastic fashion.

What I want to leave here is the change that I saw John undergo in the 2 years that I knew him. Specifically his movement towards Christ. I think to some extent we all did. However in conversations I had with John at NTC, and at war, I noticed that he had changed his priorities to some extent, specifically in life and in love. John was a great guy to begin with, but in the time I knew him I saw him become an even better man; a better friend, leader, and in all aspects a hero. Along with George Wood, and Joe Norquist, and so many others that fell, I attribute and honor John for the freedom that I and all other Americans enjoy.

I will never forget speaking at his memorial service in Iraq, specifically the final words I said. "At VMI they have a saying, 'the Institute will be heard from today.' Well buddy, you did your duty, fought the good fight, and were DEFINATELY heard from. Godspeed!"

We will see each other again one day."
CPT Erik J. Burris of Texas Tech Law, Lubbock, Texas

"To the family/friends of my friend CPT John Teal:

I served with John in the 2BDE, 4ID(M). We were on the same FOB together in Baqubah and I would see him almost everyday. 2 things leap out in my mind, no 3, when I think of my friend. The first is his sunglasses - I would see him with those on day or night. The second - his mountain bike. Here I am running on the FOB with sand and dust in my face and who do I see come rolling along? "Hey Phil, how is it goin man?", he would say I saw him race past me. The third - his sense of humor. He made all of us laugh at a time when we needed to.

I remember seeing and speaking to John at the CMOC the day before he was killed. We had a nice talk and he was happy to be helping the Iraqi people re-build their country.

John, my friend, I thank you. I thank you for your service, for making me laugh, but most of all, for your ultimate sacrifice to help others who needed it the most. Your family, friends, fellow soldiers, etc.. are proud of you. They have every right to be."
CPT Philip Staten of Alexandria, VA

"My name is CPT Tim O'Bryant '98. While John graduated one year before I would matriculate at the Institute, I would not learn his name until the class of 1998's 5 year reunion. The only time we had ever heard "Echo Taps" was always during New Market Day. As we stood out in the cold day chills entered my spine. Now 1 1/2 years later I find myself in Iraq with the 3D Infantry Division. As I was getting all my stuff ready to deploy there were two things that went into my boxes and bags before any Army items went in. My VMI Flag and my class ring. I have never deployed without them. John may you rest easy knowing that our flag is being flown high here and the ring is shining as brightly as ever. Now while I don't wear my ring very much I will wear it with pride in October and in May. May is not only about remembering the cadets that fought in the "Battle of New Market" it's about our legacy and our mission. When called to duty we will be there. I hope as we are in the winter months that as the cadets cringe with the idea of doing a parade in overcoats and fixing bayonets they will think of those who have graced Jackson Arch before them. Those of us from the Institute on the ground will pick up the mission where John left off and will press foward with him in our thoughts
Timothy O'Bryant of Iraq

"I hadn't read these messages for a long time. I just got to the point that it was too painful. However, after enduring the second Christmas without J.R., I thought I'd just see if people were still posting messages. I was astounded to see just how many there were. What great friends he had!
Just a little Christmas story about J.R. He never missed being home for Christmas and he would also play Santa and distribute the gifts. Every year we would all sit and wait and wait and wait for him to wrap his gifts on yes, Christmas morning! That's after numerous attempts to awaken him. He would finally imerge from his room usually in p. g. pants, no shirt and a Santa hat and proceed with his monologue about how he selected each gift. He usually ended up being bombarded with balls of wrapping paper.
We surely do miss him, especially at this time of year.

Mom at handload8@aol.com"
Emmie L. Teal of Montpelier, VA

"Thank you. You are a hero in every sense of the word. May god bless your family and all that loved you. Again thank you for being our hero."
John Seay of Mechanicsville,Va

"I can't say enough good things about JR. He was one of the funniest, kindest, good-natured guys I've known. From the first time I met him, while stationed in Hawaii, he had me laughing. Even over a year later, it saddens me to think of all he had ahead of him. I think of him often and my prayers are with his family."
Marissa of Colorado Springs, CO

"I just want to say that more people than you think are there for you and are praying that the conflict in the Middle East is soon resolved...keep your chin up and never stop smiling, we are there for you!"
Jaclyn of CT

"I send to you,the family, my deepest sympathy. In my high school we are honoring fallen soilders and their families. Mr.Teal has touched my life and so many others. I never met him but I don't need to, to figure out what kind of a person he was. To serve his country like that he must be as great of a person as anyone can be. You should be very proud. I know the citizens of America are also proud. I am planting a flower for Mr.Teal and his family in memory of his life. I thank you."
Danielle of Connecticut

"To the friends and family members of Capt. John R. Teal,

My name is Travis Moore I live in Troutdale Oregon. During the weekend of December 11th 2004, a place in Oregon called Microchip displayed a memorial, called the healing field. There was a flag planted for each person who was killed in the attacks of 9/11/01 and in the military opporations since that date. You could purchace a flag as a tribute for the perticular person who was slain. My fiance' and I purchased the flag of John Teal. I want you to know that the flag and the name plaque will be displayed proudly in our home. I would like to contact you, and maybe get some more background on John if at all possible. Words cannot express the level of gratitude that we have for the sacrifice your son has given our contry. If you could, could you PLEASE contact me at Ridinropin@aol.com thank you very much. Please know that even though we never knew him. Your son will always be in our hearts and a part of our family. Thank you very much. Travis Moore"
Travis Moore of Troutdale Oregon USA

"It deeply saddens me to hear about the death or J.R. I knew J.R. through my ex-wife and mutual friends while stationed at Hawaii. What I remember most about J.R. is the way he could instantly put a smile on your face. My deepest condolences go out to his family."
SFC Gregg Burris of Camp Humpreys, Korea

"Our deepest sympathies to the Teal family. John was one of "our own"---my husband went to both Benedictine (Class of 96) and VMI (Class of 2000), and he is active duty Army now (participated in OIF I). We are thinking of you and praying for you, Teal family. Thank you, John, for your sacrifice.

email: nancytcondon at hotmail dot com"
Nancy, Emily, and Cpt Paul N Belmont III of Bamberg, Germany

"June 21, 2004
Mrs. Teal, I was a friend of John's in Austin. We lost contact with one another about 4 yrs ago. I'd been thinking of him recently, but didn't know where to contact him so I decided to do a "search". I didn't know and am deeply saddened by this. John was a remarkable man. I am so sorry for your loss. Please contact me at your convenience. rvg75@AOL.COM"
B of Austin, Texas

"I knew J.R. from our days at Benedictine. He had a gift for making anyone laugh. Although I didn't keep up with him after graduation, hearing news of his death was saddening. Rest in peace, J.R."
John Jackson of Roanoke, VA

"To the Family of Capt. John Teal:
As many messages,letters or cards start with " I don't know you but." A kinship is shared between our families. We lost our son, brother, grandson, nephew, best friend and friend on 4/7/2003 ten days before your son's birthday. We send you our prayers and concern as parents for somehow we know they are felt and the love shared transcends space and time. We did not feel our Lincoln would not be coming home but after his death we felt it was in his destiny or as we say GOD'S plan for him to become a soldier and like your son become one of America's fallen heros. We thank John for his courage, strength and patriotism but most of all we thank him for caring about the soldiers who served with him and under him. I think the greatest honor bestowed upon our son's comes from the remarks of those who served with them for they know more than most of us the true character of that person and how they stepped forward to do the job that was given to them. I would like to reach across the distance and share a hug with you for I feel your loss your pain your grief but also the pride and the honor you have in your son and the others. I say to those who have served their country and who have returned home " Thank you " to the other families who have lost a loved one no matter what conflict it was in " We Will Remember and NOT Forget." Our son was SSG Lincoln Hollinsaid he served with the 3rd ID and was one of the first to enter Iraq he died near the Baghdad airport on April 7,2003."
Dan Hollinsaid LINC's DAD of Malden, IL USA

"Mrs. Teal
I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you. I have recently checked George's profile and saw your message. Please contact me at riawood@yahoo.com"
Lisa Wood of Toledo, OH

"For a more complete profile of Capt. Teal please go to: OperationAC.com, then click on KIA profiles."
Louise Teal of Montpelier, Va

"Dear Son, it's been six months yesterday since you left us in a physical sense. It sometimes feels like yesterday and it can't possibly be six months and then it also feels like its been an eternity. During this time I remember few days but many moments of kindness from family, friends, Military personnel, church members and yes total, total strangers who took the time and cared enough to mourn the passing and celebrate the life of our Son and Brother, Capt. John R. Teal. You will never be forgotten. We love you,son. We thank all of those who take time to care about you.

John's Mom,"
Louise Teal of Montpelier, Va

"Captain Teal, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, John, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"I met John at a hail and farewell at Ft. Hood. It was our first hail and farewell since my husband joined 1-67 armor. John came up to our table to introduce himself and went on to woo our 2 year old daughter. John was not a shy man, but one that made a point to make anyone and everyone around him laugh and smile. I knew him only a short while before they deployed but he will always bring a smile to my face. I was so upset when my husband called me from camp scunion to tell me that his friend John Teal was killed. I could hear in his voice how upset he was. I couldn't believe it was the same man. Now I too am living with the same loss John's family faces, my husband was killed only one month later by an ied. My prayers are with them both and with all the soldiers who remain in Iraq. God bless you all."
Lisa Wood of Ft. Hood Texas

"J.R. was a Brother Rat of mine at Virginia Military Institute, Class of 1994. He was a true friend to all who knew him, and had a smile and a hello for all those who weren't fortunate enough to know him personally. I can't think of one time that I saw him on post without a big smile on his face. He brightened up every room that he entered. I am proud to call J.R. a friend, and am blessed that I knew him.

Thank you for your service to our country J.R.. When my 18 month old son gets older and asks me what a hero is, I will pull out my VMI Bomb, point to your picture and tell him that J.R. Teal is a hero. Rest in peace J.R.."
Chris Coolidge , VMI Class of 1994 of Calera, AL

"John was a close friend with whom I shared similar interests. He gave me a copy of Black Hawk Down, which will forever bring a tear to my eyes. We read literature together and I can still hear his voice.

I respected John's intelligence, wit, and devotion to his country and his family in Virginia. John had great respect and love for his family and they came up in conversations often.

John was a man that still believed in "writing" letters by hand in this age of technology and email. These letters are cherished. I miss his friendship and always will.

I pray for his family and hope that they will always feel comforted knowing what an impact they made in John's life and how much he loved them all. John had a special way of touching us all."
Debora Pace of Alvarado, Texas USA

"J.R. was a friend,not much more that I can say about that.We went to high school together at Benedictine in Richmond,Va. I was J.R.'s company comander. First of all let me say that I was always impressed with his cracker jack appearence and the pride he took in his uniform. His shoes were always shinned to mirror perfection. Moreover J.R. was always committed to the effort that he and his team would put forward. If I had commanded a company full of cadets as eager to achieve whatever the order was as was J.R.,I would have been most honored. J.R.,I love you and may God watch over you. We will meet again someday."
David Simons of Richmond,Va.

"Thank you John Teal, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"JRís humor, smile, and laughs will be dearly missed. He always kept me in stitches when I was around him. I havenít seen JR in about five years and we havenít kept in touch. However, when my wife and I reminisce about our good times and good friends in Hawaii, JR is always one of the first people we remember. I remember JR as a person that always went headlong into anything and everything that he wanted to do. He was dedicated to his career and his friends. May God bless JR and his loved ones."
SSG Wendell Hardwick, A Co. 4-118th IN(M), SCARNG of Greenwood, SC

"John was a great person, who had a huge impact in my life. He was someone that I looked up to, if it wasn't for John I would of never of joined ROTC. He will be missed."
CDT Rebeca Thompson of Ft. Hood, Tx

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of this fine young man and outstanding soldier. John was devoted to his mission and made everyone around him feel better about themselves. All of us who worked closely with him in Baquba are deeply saddened by this terrible loss. We will miss him and never forget his kindness and love of humanity.
A soldier from the Baquba CMOC."

"John was a great friend and training partner to many Hawaii triathletes, he seemed the only one able to laugh and joke as we all seemingly suffered through endless track workouts-he was never short of optimism and joy. From a tropical island in the Pacific to the desert of Iraq John will be missed, but never forgotten. All my prayers and thoughts go to all of you during this time."
Tanya Florin of Honolulu, Hawaii

"John was great human being who embraced life to the fullest. He wasn't afraid to voice his opinion and you never had to guess where he was coming from. John was the life of the party and he always brightened up the room as soon as he entered. Not only was John a great person, but he was a great officer. He was a leader and someone everyone respected. I am a better person as a result of JR and me and my family will miss him dearly. May you rest in peace, John Robert (JR) Teal. God Bless you!"
CPT Jay Schwartz of San Antonio, TX

"John was a friend to everyone. He was our Brigade Medical Planner and local jester. John was one of those guys that could put a smile on your face if you only gave him 10 minutes. John was killed by cowards that hid in the shadows to detonate an explosion while John was traveling back in a convoy from the local agricultural minister's building. He was trying to make a positive difference for this countries future. We found these bastards the next night and justice will rightfully be served. John, you are missed."
A fellow Soldier of FOB Warhorse, Baqubah Iraq

"To the family and friends of Capt. John Teal:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless John for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Capt. John Teal:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of John, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on