The Odyssey

The Greek poet Homer was one of the first to illuminate these overlooked aspects of post-war reintegration in his epic poem, The Odyssey. Homer explores this theme through the attempts of his hero, Odysseus, to return to his kingdom on the island of Ithaca after the Trojan War. The Odyssey contains ancient wisdom of enduring value that is once again relevant for a country that has deployed and redeployed hundreds of thousands of service members during twenty years of expeditionary conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. The battles for Fallujah and the Pech Valley may have ended, but many soldiers are still fighting. 

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The Iliad

When the Greek poet Homer penned The Iliad nearly three thousand years ago, he explored trauma and resiliency through the lens of his civilization at war. Set in the tempest of combat, The Iliad’s deeper story about the human condition is found in the contrast between two opposing generals, Achilles and Hector. Surrounded by death and violence, Homer’s two heroes engage the world with strikingly different approaches. Through their contrasting values and motivations, Homer makes strong assertions about the sources of psychological resilience.  

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