Good Evening! Welcome to my portion of A-Z Wednesday brought to you by Reading at the Beach.
This week's letter is "O."
To play, simply scan your shelves and piles of books to find a title starting with the letter "O." Post a picture, the title, synopsis, a link to the book (from amazon, etc), and post your link on Vicki's Blog in her A-Z Wednsday Post. Have fun finding an old friend or maybe something you've been meaning to read, but had forgotten for a time...
I did not have any fiction "O's" so I found Odysseus in America Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming by Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D. on my nonfiction shelves.
I read this book in the fall of 2003 while I was working at the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics. The Colonel there had given me a selection of books to read from the ethics library and this was just one of many (but only one of two that I bought after leaving that office).
In the book, Dr. Shay compares Homer's Odysseus to the Vietnam veteran and his attempt and sometimes failure to assimilate back into normal society. For me, part 1 describes the "Why there is a problem," part 2 describes "How to fix the problem," and part 3 describes "How to prevent the problem." I never particularly thought anything Homer wrote could be translated into modern terms (me the overly avid reader was an English literature teacher's nightmare...), but Dr. Shay uses allegorical interpretations to compare Odysseus's delays in getting to Penelope as the problems Vietnam veterans faced when coming back one at a time to the U.S. Thankfully, the U.S. military has gone back to full unit deployments and has implemented measures to ensure individual augments have a safety net that was not in place during Vietnam.
This book spoke volumes to me when I read it and I would fully recommend the reading to anyone who has had a father, grandfather, uncle or other relative who is a Vietnam veteran - especially if you were not able to connect with that person when he returned and now have forever lost that chance.