As a personal note, when I transferred back to the area that I previously had been treated it was like I had never been in the system. Well, so do I, in truth. However, I would argue that all of his book applies to victim of other traumatic experiences as well. Since we are in this new fight for at least a generation, the contents of this book are something that every citizen of the republic should at least think about. RicksDefense correspondent,The Washington PostShould be read by anyone interested in the effects of combat on troops or in the meaning of Homer's works -- and by everyone who wants to better understand today's United States.
Pray for me as I get a chance to speak with leaders who have some influence to make things better, not just for me, but for all of us. Not because they are bad people, but because there is such a gulf between the military and society at large that such issues are distant and incomprehensible to most people not in the military. The thing is that most of the skills one picks up in the army, especially if one is a grunt, don't really transpose over into civil society. This book helped me set an additional goal to my commitment to pacifism. It was starting from scratch, and while I had gone back to the system seeking basic follow up care, the process broke me and made me worse. Well, while Achilles in Vietnam dealt with the battlefield, Odysseus in America uses to explore how soldiers can reintegrate into society after returning from war, and how our modern society has yet to effectively deal with the returned soldier. He believes that war and subsequent coping behavior come from how we evolved.
However, Shay is highly critical of Odysseus as a warrior because his leadership decisions resulted in the loss of so many men under his command: indeed, he lost two generations of men from Ithaca after returning home alone from Troy after 20 years. The idea alone is genius, but Shay's lucid and elegant prose make the reading itself a sublime experience. But such is life when you have passed into the abyss and come back different than when you began the journey. In the original tale, each adventure further stripped Odysseus of his men, his ships and his dignity; Shay argues that in fact Odysseus was at fault for much of this loss through poor judgement and egoism, stemming from his own history of trauma. No time like the present! In Odysseus in America, Shay makes some obvious points when he sketches out those parallels.
However, don't expect a tear-jerker. However, despite this motivation, I will not be doing so this year, or possibly for many years. It is I of course that have changed in the interval. Or any book on Vietnam. Now I'm going to have to read it This book was great. The book and the film reveal the parallels in Odysseus epic ten-year journey home from Troy sung by Homer 3,000 years ago to events in the lives of todays American combat veterans.
The words are haunting and they so describe how many veterans feel, even long after they left the combat zone. Odysseus is famous for his trick in getting the Greeks into Troy through the use of the wooden horse, and bringing the war to a quick, and satisfactory, conclusion after a ten year stalemate. That means that soldiers were alone going into this nightmare, and they were alone coming out of it, as well. I have just a couple of rules for comments. Also, explaining war and homecoming through the lens of Odysseus was pure genius. I also found that there is a good reason that I am still taking medications to help me sleep. Recently this was the case when I suggested that legendary preacher David Wilkerson may have committed suicide by car.
I hope to soon devour it! Even today people shy away from accepting mental illness as being not only an actual illness, or condition, but also debilitating. And finally, that the stimulation and adrenalin-pumping awareness under stress and fire cannot be sustained in a normal environment. This is such a fascinating shift in narrative that happened since Homer wrote his epos — we somehow got rid of the Gods as the reason behind our suffering and happiness. The point is that courageous veterans have all been wounded deeply by the brutal trauma of their combat for years after their return home. The difficult thing for me is that I got into teaching because of the books a taboo statement in this field of work.
Odysseus in America is his follow-up to his groundbreaking book, Achilles in Vietnam. Today I got a call from the Admiral at the Medical Center, unfortunately it went directly to voice mail, but he did sound like he cared and wanted to listen. It increases the severity of other psychological conditions including depression, anxiety and the risk of suicidal, or other risk taking behaviors. Now I'm going to have to read it again. I wasn't prepared for how extremely interesting and impactful this book would be; I figured it would just provide excerpts for my Odyssey Unit.
I will definitely look for the other books of the author. This is no doubt one of the biggest issues facing the Vietnam vets when they returned Stateside. The fact that soldiers are treated as individuals, when in a war the unit needs to see themselves as a Band of Brothers, is one of the major reasons why the soldiers have a lot of trouble adjusting to civilian life after they return from war or even being able to perform their best while in war. Mind you there are a lot of conditions that fall under that category and people who suffer from these debilitating conditions are mocked and ridiculed, told to get on with their life and to get over it. For most any of that is far too dangerous or risky. Shay exposed me to aspects of myself, previously unconsidered, that helped me to face daily life with a more reflective foundation. Personally, I didn't like this book as much as I did the previous book, but a part of that was because I have moved on somewhat since I read his first book, though a part of me still wanting to see his thoughts on Homer's Odyssey.
Jonathan Shay uses the Odyssey, the story of a soldier's homecoming, to illuminate the pitfalls that trap many veterans on the road back to civilian life. Second, the This was a book that really made me think and that should be read in my view by anyone dealing with war veterans, be they family, friends or psychologists. Okay, the A-Team weren't actually living a life of crime, they were simply running around, firing off lots of guns, and scaring away bad guys so that innocent people weren't terrorised. Medical diagnosis and treatment is part of this difficult process of uncovering what truth is possible and letting go of the need to have the complete truth about combat experience. As a combat vet I felt like Dr.