Eating is a universal experience. Serving in the military is not. It is highly unique for each individual who has served within the unique structure and language of our military system; a language many civilians choose never to learn.
But our political landscape and the paths of our soldiers – our fellow citizens – changed forever on September 11th, 2001. The landscape has changed every time we’ve engaged in combat. Our family histories have been shaped by our military engagement whether or not we have family members who have served.
Whether or not we are aware.
Now is not the time to dismiss the voices of those who have walked the front lines for us. Now is the time to tell their stories. Stories about our freedom, and their sacrifice. Stories that help define “home” for American soldiers across time, military engagement, service area, rank, geographic range, gender, ethnicity, and race. Stories that define, divide, and unite.
Let’s introduce the language of war through the language of food.
Each episode of Service shares the gripping storyline of one veteran. In season one, World War II soldiers navigate the big guns of D-Day and then describe how they ate when past Omaha beach. They share how their ships avoided torpedos and how they transported food around the world. They discuss how the Great Depression affected their families, the hunger of civilians met abroad, and how their military rations were restored while pushing forward on foot for months on end.
Supported by a rich soundscape and subtle narration to fill in technical or historical gaps, the result is an intimate, engrossing, memoir-like step back in time.
Each Service season includes 12 individual veteran episodes, with one mid-season and one end-season episode dedicated to greater overlapping themes. Various short supporting episodes allow listeners to dive deeper into the nerdy history of military terms, food development, and wartime production. Season one will be followed by seasons focusing on the Korean War, the War in Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the recent and current engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the course of each season, we capture a fraction of the experience of “serving in the military” through food, asking, “What did you eat when deployed, and what did you dream about first eating when you got home?”
And so, we ask you:
How have your food stories changed during wartime?