Best follows through on promise to Army widow and gets some beard action at Ball


Rachel Richardson lost her husband when he was killed in action bravely fighting overseas in Afghanistan six years ago.

Richardson was a fire support specialist assigned to 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment C Company. He joined the Army in June 2006 and arrived at Fort Campbell in January 2007.

On March 9th, 2010, SGT Jonathan “Rich” Richardson and PFC Jason Kropat were killed by a suicide bomber with  in Afghanistan.

Rachel Richardson at an Army ball with her husband Jonathon, who was killed in Afghanistan. (Rachel Richardson)
Rachel Richardson at an Army ball with her husband Jonathon, who was killed in Afghanistan. (Rachel Richardson)

His bereaved wife, Rachel, who is invited to 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division’s Balls every year, sent a video date invite to Mat Best late last month. Within hours of her invite, Best responded by posting a video -created in a similar fashion to Rachel’s video- to let her know he would be attending.

Best said, “You know what Rachel? I could use a vacation so I’ll see you and the Rakkasans on August 5th,” before taking a hefty sip of Lead Slinger’s Whiskey straight from the bottle, in his video response.

There was little media released by Army Public Affairs from the Ball, but Rachel took plenty of pictures and video to share. As most military members know, “what happens at the ball stays at the ball.” Well…unless a senior enlisted soldier’s wife drinks too much. Nobody forgets when that happens.

Best wearing
Best wearing SGT Jonathan Richardson’s KIA bracelet in his honor. (Rachel Richardson)
Rachel and Mat taking a selfie at 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division’s Army Ball. (Rachel Richardson)
Rachel and Mat taking a selfie at 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division’s Army Ball. (Rachel Richardson)

WTF Nation Radio’s Redleg posted some footage of Rachel and Best enjoying themselves.  Redleg dared Rachel to scratch Best’s coveted beard and she had no problem complying.  It was hard to tell from the video if Best enjoyed the scratch but Rachel told Popular Military, “he enjoyed the beard stroke. He even laughed about it after!”

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