November 4, 2017
"He's the eighth out of his unit last year alone." Patty Best
"He said 'I put 12 on the helicopter and took 11 out in bodybags.'" Hugh Best
On the final day of 2016, Jared Best turned a gun on himself in his Haywood County home.
Family members said his death by suicide came with no warning that personal struggles had reached a crisis point. An Army veteran, what Best saw during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan troubled him, but there had been no medical diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I don’t really remember that call," Hugh Best said of the day he learned by phone that his 26-year-old son was dead. The two had plans to meet on New Year's Day. "You just do what you have to do at the time, and I don’t think it will ever sink in."
"It was like a bomb going off when we got that call," said Patty Best, Jared's mother.
Best left the military in 2014 after six years of service, and he was living in Crabtree. He was married, working full time and taking welding classes at Haywood Community College.
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