- The Washington Times - Friday, September 7, 2018

Donald Trump Jr. paid tribute to his friend Jason Hairston after the former NFL player and member of the Trump administration took his own life just weeks after returning home from a hunting trip with the first son.

Jason, I have no words,” Mr. Trump Jr. wrote in an Instagram post Thursday. “I will always remember our adventures and sharing a campfire with you. They will be some of my fondest experiences in the outdoors.”

Hairston, who played briefly for the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos, was founder and CEO of hunting gear company KUIU. He joined the Trump administration in 2017 as liaison to the Department of the Interior and hunting groups on conservation and public lands issues.

On Aug. 8, Hairston posted an Instagram photo of a sheep-hunting trip in Canada with Mr. Trump Jr., The Sacramento Bee reported. On Aug. 20, Hairston wrote on Instagram, “It is not easy to find a great hunting partner who appreciates the suffering of a tough sheep hunt. @donaldjtrumpjr and I covered a lot of tough miles. We were pounded with rain, snow, fog and high winds. It made this hunt one we will never forget.”

Mr. Trump Jr. said Hairston would continue to be “an inspiration to all outdoorsmen and women for generations to come.”

“Thanks for the friendship and the memories buddy. I’m going to miss you. R.I.P.,” he wrote in his post.

KUIU said in a news release that Hairston “took his own life” and was found dead at his home in Dixon, Calif., on Sept. 4. He is survived by his wife Kirstyn and their two young children.

Hairston believed he suffered from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) from his years as a linebacker, News Corp reported. While a person may suffer symptoms from CTE, the only way to properly diagnose it is through an autopsy. KUIU requested on behalf of Hairston’s family that donations be made to support CTE-related research at Boston University Concussion Legacy Foundation.

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