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Struggles In Odyssey

Good Essays
Thousands of people join our military and risk their lives to fight for their country. After many years of fighting in war, soldiers are no longer who they used to be. Upon their return home, they are looked down upon, treated badly, and aren’t given the treatment needed to recover. The struggles and obstacles these veterans face on their journey home and once they arrive forever face. In the epic poem, Odyssey by Homer, it shows the obstacles a soldier has to face on their journey. Odysseus and his men have traveled a rough journey on their way home to Ithaca. The gods put Odysseus's men to the test by seeing if they will follow his rules even in the toughest situations. In the poem, “Sailing From Troy”, Odysseus’ men ignore his orders to…show more content…
Throughout the story, there are several examples of veterans struggling because they no longer live the life they used to. The struggle continues even “thirty years after military discharge,” (Shay 6) causing [one veteran] to “[use] up four weeks of vacation time, 150 hours of sick time, and 80 hours without pay” (Shay 6) in only one year. Bear, a Vietnam veteran, mainly has to leave work in order to “prevent himself from killing somebody, but also to receive treatment at the VA” (Shay 6). Bear isn’t able to live a normal life because of the violent military experiences he lived through. If forced to live a “normal” life, he believes he would put everyone (coworkers and family alike) in harm's way. Soldiers and vets try to find other ways of coping with war memories in order to better fit into “normal” life. Often these coping mechanisms are unhealthy or detrimental to the veterans’ recovery process: “Pain makes the nightmares go away. There's not enough pills or booze to make the nightmares go away, but….If I get hurt bad it helps the nightmares go away faster" (Shay 9). Many veterans would resort to violence or illegal substances to try and distract them from the reality of not being able to fit in like they used to. Every veteran experiences some type of struggle on their journey home…show more content…
Transitioning from military life to civilian life can be a brutal mind game for veterans. Upon return, they have to find a new version of normal. In the military, there is a different way of life which tends to pull soldiers away from the outside world. To veterans’ “Normal is alien encompassed many veterans experiences of disconnection from people at home, lack of support from institutions, lack of structure, and loss of purpose upon return to civilian life.” (Ahern 1). In the military your views and way of life change which makes it harder to convert back to the original way of life. Veterans are consequently treated poorly and receive minimal help, but the help they do receive helps them tremendously. In studies, “social support is known to be protective for veterans, but our findings add the nuance of substantial obstacles veterans face in locating and accessing support, due to disconnection and unsupportive institutions” (Ahern 1). One of the best ways we treat vets is with social support, but can also be a dangerous task for helpers. This tells us some of the struggles and treatment that many veterans come along on their
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