Sergeant York, Part 1

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#708: “Sergeant York, Part 1”
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July 18, 2011
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1 Corinthians 13:7

7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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Sergeant York, Part 1

“Sergeant York, Part 1” is episode #708 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Dave Arnold, and originally aired on April 7, 2012.

Avery Award Winner!
This episode won an Avery Award for Best Sound in the Summer 2012 Season!
Odyssey awards.png


Eugene Meltsner and Red Hollard tell the story of Sergeant Alvin York, a troublemaker from rural Tennessee who became a World War I hero.


Eugene Meltsner is in the Kids' Radio studio starting a show called Famous Men and Women in History. Red Hollard enters the room to check the fire extinguishers. Eugene introduces the subject for the show; a World War I hero, Alvin York. Red gets excited and as Eugene begins to tell the story Red keeps interrupting. Eugene asks if Red would like to help him tell the story, and Red jumps on the offer.

They begin by talking about Alvin's bad reputation around town. There was one night when Alvin York and his friend were walking in town and they passed a pretty girl. They catch her attention and introduce themselves to her. She tries to continue on her way, but they continue to impress her. Alvin picks a target and shows off his shooting skills. She isn't impressed. A man named, Pastor Pyle approaches them reprimanding them for shooting a gun in town. The girl, Gracie Williams leaves with Pastor Pyle. Alvin leaves to teach his brother how to shoot.

Alvin tries to teach his brother, Robert York how to shoot. Alvin teaches his brother a technique which involved hitting the target in the back and then the one in the front. He demonstrates this technique on two squirrels. Alvin orders Robert to get the squirrels, Robert refuses, so Alvin hits him as encouragement to get them. Robert retrieves the squirrels and then gets hit by a rock. Alvin turns to see that it was thrown by Gracie. Gracie reprimands him for hitting his brother.

One night Alvin came home really late, to find his mother waiting for him. She expresses that she worries about him with his drinking, gambling, and fighting. Alvin tells her she needn't worry, but she says she can't help it. She tells him if he ever wants her to look at him, the same way he looks at Gracie; Alvin will have to change.

Another night at a bar, Alvin and Everett are gambling and are accused of cheating. After some arguing, it turns for the worst and a fight breaks out. The man threw the table to the side and the corner hit Everett in the head. The men that started the fight run out of the bar. Everett died on the bar floor. And it had a huge effect on Alvin.

The whole town turned out for the funeral and Pastor Pyle gave a message at the funeral. Alvin speaks up during the message, and realizes that a lot of what Pastor Pyle is saying is directed at him. Alvin realizes that he must accept Jesus into his heart. Gracie walks with Alvin to the alter. After that Alvin was a changed man. And he had a growing affection for Gracie.

One evening Alvin brings a opossum to Gracie in the rain, and Gracie asks him if he's trying to court her. After some flirting, they agree to court. Alvin begins doing a lot in the community with the church and his faith. Pastor Pyle explains that after Alvin became a Christian, he was completely transformed. Alvin would make special trips to Pyle's store just to learn more about the Lord. One day while Alvin was visiting the store, another customer, named Earl was asking Pyle to put tobacco on his tab and Pyle refused to do so. While Pyle is getting something from the back, Earl talks to Alvin about the war. Alvin comments that he wouldn't fight in the war. Earl says that war killing is killing to protect not murder, but that doesn't convince Alvin. He says his conscience wouldn't allow him to fight in the war, and that's that. (Continued in #709: “Sergeant York, Part 2”)

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever been tempted to do something you shouldn't?
  2. What did you do about it?
  3. Alvin's wrong choices before becoming a Christian hurt many people besides him. When you do something wrong, who does it hurt?
  4. Is it right to go to war if it is to protect others?
  5. What does the Bible say about it?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
John Whittaker Red Hollard


  • PARENTAL WARNING: This four part episode reflects on the life of Alvin York. While it is presented in a way that kids can handle, it contains some deaths of friends of Alvin and war scenes. The episode also tackles the controversy of Christians going to war. Parents are encouraged to listen with their children and discuss the issues presented in the episode.
  • This was originally a 3 part episode. However, after editing the voice tracks, the AIO team discovered that the episode is 18 minutes too long. Rather than cut 18 minutes from the story, they decided to make it into AIO's first regular 4 part episode.
  • This episode was originally planned for Album 54 but was pushed back to Album 55 to make room for the episodes including Penny.


Red Hollard: Sorry, did you say Alvin York?
Eugene Meltsner: Yes!
Red Hollard: Seriously?
Eugene Meltsner: Yes!
Red Hollard: He is one of my personal heroes.
Eugene Meltsner: And no doubt, we should discuss that some other time.

Red Hollard: He was as ornery as a wet boot on a swollen foot.
Eugene Meltsner: Huh?

Pastor Pyle: Then you know what you gotta do, Alvin.
Alvin York: Yes sir. I need to walk up to that alter, sir.
Pastor Pyle: It's not just walking, son. It's dying. Not like Everett inside of this box, but dying to that infernal man inside you that been fighting again God.