'It stings:' Fayetteville Gold Star wife speaks on chaos in Afghanistan

Elaina Athans Image
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
'It stings:' Gold Star wife speaks on chaos in Afghanistan
Amid the chaos in Afghanistan, a Fayetteville Gold Star wife said there have been a lot of emotions and she has questioned if her husband's sacrifice was in vain.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Gold Star wife is disturbed, disappointed and disheartened by the chaos in Afghanistan.

Joann Yost, of Fayetteville, says feelings have been coming to the surface and she's questioning if her husband's sacrifice was worth it.

"It stings for my children," Yost said while holding back tears. "How do you tell a child it's okay and it wasn't in vain?"

What is happening in Afghanistan? Expert explains what you need to know

Master Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Yost was killed in Iraq while searching for insurgents. The Special Forces instructor was 39 years old and a father of three.

The weapons training facility at Fort Bragg was named in his honor.

"He died doing what he loved," said Yost. "He protected who he could, brothers in arms (and) sisters in arm on each side. He believed in what he was doing."

There would be more hardships for the family.

On the 10-year anniversary of her husband death, Yost was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.

She beat it and is doing well now, even opened a business to help other women going through the battle.

Yost spent the last 15 plus years raising kids on her own.

She's sending the couple's youngest, Tony's namesake, off to college this weekend.

FULL INTERVIEW: Gold Star wife speaks on chaos in Afghanistan

"It takes a strong woman to be that backbone," said Yost.

Yet, she prays no one else is put in her position.

"I just hope that everyone out there understand the life of a military soldier, the lives of the families that they leave behind, we spend the rest of our entire life yearning for them. We spend our entire life wishing and wondering what if. I don't want anyone else to go through that pain. It's a lot. It's painful."

2,000 Bragg soldiers have been sent to Afghanistan to help with evacuation efforts.

Yost hopes that commotion over there will bring the military community together in Fayetteville.