"WASHED onto the shores of his island home, after 10 years’ absence in a foreign war and 10 years of hard travel in foreign lands, Odysseus, literature’s most famous veteran, stares around him: 'But now brilliant Odysseus awoke from sleep in his own fatherland, and he did not know it,/having been long away.' Additionally, the goddess Athena has cast an obscuring mist over all the familiar landmarks, making 'everything look otherwise/than it was.' 'Ah me,' groans Odysseus, 'what are the people whose land I have come to this time?'
That sense of dislocation has been shared by veterans returning from the field of war since Homer conjured Odysseus’ inauspicious return some 2,800 years ago. Its vexing power was underscored on Thursday, when a military psychiatrist who had been treating the mental scars of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan went on a shooting rampage at an Army base in Texas."