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167th Airlift Wing gets 2nd chaplain

January 18, 2009|By SHERREE GREBENSTEIN / Special to The Herald-Mail

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - It hasn't happened in years, but the 167th Airlift Wing now has two chaplains to serve the spiritual needs of airmen on base.

First Lt. Jonathan W. Yost delivered his first chapel service recently in the base's auditorium. Maj. David Reynolds, the wing's chaplain, is deployed to Germany.

A native of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., Yost is no stranger to the Martinsburg air base. His father, Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Yost was a supervisor on the local flight line and retired from the West Virginia Air National Guard after serving more than three decades.

By his own admission, Yost thought he was on target to become an Air Force pilot while enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps while attending the University of Virginia.

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But a higher calling literally awaited him.

"God kind of changed my mind," Yost said.

And with his two passions being that of ministry and service to country, the 25-year-old found that he could combine both. Although he won't pilot an aircraft, Lt. Yost will be a wingman to any airman in need.

Serving with the same unit that his father and sister once did is a nice bonus. Yost said he sought an assignment with the 167th Airlift Wing so that he can minister to those he has come to know as family over the years.

He noted that one brother-in-law retired from the nearby West Virginia Army National Guard's 157th Military Police Co. and another is stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, where he was assigned to the 13th Chaplain Headquarters while attending the chaplaincy candidate program.

Although Yost lives four hours away from the 167th Airlift Wing with his wife, he said being able to minister to people from his hometown who often number the airmen here was important.

Yost has earned three degrees from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. He has a bachelor of science in religion, a master of arts in religion and a master's in religious education with a focus in military chaplaincy. The enabled him to earn his commission.

Yost said Col. Roger Nye, commander of the 167th Airlift Wing, promoted him from a second lieutenant to a first lieutenant when he switched from the U.S. Air Force Reserve to the West Virginia Air National Guard.

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