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Why she salutes military at every board meeting

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POSTED October 22, 2012 12:02 a.m.

Manteca Unified Board of Trustee Nancy Teicheira always has a comment at the end of the meeting. Actually, it’s a message. And it’s always the same. Some of the words may vary, but it’s the same tribute to those who served, and are serving, in the military for their country and fellow Americans.

Teicheira gave a simple explanation as to why she does that religiously at every school board meeting. She really has more than one reason for never failing to say thanks for the men and women in uniform.

“When I sit at home at night and I think about my worries, I am thankful that we have our veterans and they need to be recognized,” she said.

The personal worries that Teicheira refers to are no different from what many are going through in these tough economic times, and the challenges that many a wife and mother face day to day. But her share of life’s vicissitudes has had an added burden. She and her husband, Frank, have endured the loss of a son in the prime of his life. Daniel Teicheira, their youngest boy who met an untimely death while he was a freshman and a star athlete at Sierra High School, is the person in whose memory the Timberwolves’ stadium was named.

Teicheira is also waging a courageous battle against a very rare form cancer for which she had surgery in 2004 while she was already serving on the school board. Last year, after several years in remission, the disease returned and she had to undergo a new round of treatments that is experimental. The disease is called thymoma which came in the form of a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her chest area. Her current treatment is the reason she wears fashionable hats to board meetings.

Despite her health and other setbacks, Teicheira has missed only two meetings – the first one when she had to have surgery in 2004, and the second time when her son passed away.

The tribute she gives to our veterans and soldiers who are protecting our freedom and our country, she said, is “to show my gratitude to them for their sacrifices.”

She also wants to give honor to the American soldiers who served and fought in the Vietnam conflict and came home only to be met with anger, cynicism, and isolation.

“Having grown up during the Vietnam War, a lot of my friends who came back are, to this day, bitter because of the response they got coming home. So this is how I show my gratitude to them for the sacrifices they made,” Teicheira explained.

Someone she dated in high school also went to Vietnam. She recalled that when he came home from the war, his own cousin who was a Jehovah’s Witness “sat there and called him a murderer.”

Teicheira said “things like that” affected her deeply, “so I just like thanking them,” she said of the services and sacrifices of the country’s men and women in uniform.

She herself comes from a family who has served in the military. Not too long ago, she posted the following tribute on facebook: “Here’s to my Brother Al….. My favorite Marine (only because Mom and Dad were in the Navy). Love ya. Accompanying her message was a poem titled, “Ask Me What I was,” concluding with the words, “Semper Fidelis – For I was, am and shall forever be a ‘United States Marine’.”

Teicheira’s Dad and Mom, Eugene and Grace Schluper, met while both were in the Navy. She was originally from a small town in Arkansas. “They were cotton farmers from Arkansas,” Teicheira said. Her Dad was from Oregon. He was a medic in the Navy, assigned mainly on the West Coast.

Her mom also had another sibling, a sister, who served in the Navy.

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