When you read Rod Serling’s wiki bio one of the first sections is on his military service. This makes sense not just because it came chronologically right after his early life but also because of an incident that he experienced in the Pacific Theater of the war that helped inform his offbeat sense of creativity which shaped his best-known creation The Twilight Zone.
I have heard variations of the story (and used it as a lead-off in a sermon), but basically what happened – and you can read about it in the article – Serling and his fellow soldiers were on an island in the Pacific and, while maybe not starving, they certainly weren’t feasting (my current background photo on Facebook reflects something similar – British and Sikh soldiers operating a radio while in the process of destroying the Japanese army at the Battle of Imphal during the war). While out in the field a package containing food (k-rations, which included canned food, our assigned topic on this eighth day of the 40 Day Blogging exercise) was dropped from a plane and ended up killing his friend. Serling saw the irony in the whole situation – the package that was to save or sustain them ended up killing one of them. After hearing this story everything about The Twilight Zone made sense to me.
Here is a picture of Serling in uniform next to his dad: