Back Then

Religion and you—Prodigal Son Story from the Southern Cross for May 8, 1970

Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines

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By Chaplain (MAJ) Verne A. Sighter, 3rd Bn – 1st Inf

The Story of the Prodigal Son is one that has many parallels in our modern day and is relevant to many young men serving in Vietnam and other "far Countries" fo the world. The prodigal son in the Bible, like many young men in the armed forces was a liable young chap. He was not bad, or evil, or even delinquent. The worst that could probably be said about him was that he had no sense of values. He asked for that portion of the estate that fell to him as if it were manna from heaven. He did not seem to realize that his father had spent a life of hard work accumulating such wealth. And thus when he got into the far country he was quite unprepared for its flattery and seduction, with the result that little by little rowdies and the Saigon-tea girls and the pimps got everything away from his while he lived loosely.

A very similar situation is faced by many a young soldier in Vietnam with a pocket full of money. No one is ready for life, with all its complex struggles, until he has a sense of values and can tell the difference between happiness and thrills, between sensation and satisfaction, between merit and applause.

Relatively few prodigals are vicious. Most of them are very attractive people. Most of them have good intentions, but all of them lack perspective. He who has no sense of values will always be a wanderer in some "far country" while the folks back home sit in anxious helplessness. A sense of values is something that no man can give to another, but Christ has given us the clue to setting our perspective in order. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be yours as well.

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The copy of this issue of the Southern Cross was a personal purchase from Carlisle Barracks Military History Institute by Leslie Hines. Sections that could be scanned were OCR scanned by Jay Roth.

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