It took ten long years before Odysseus attempted to return home. A great warrior, Odysseus and his crew knew that they could reach home safely. However, they had to face many challenges on their way back. He first encounters Cyclops, a monster with only one eye in the middle of his forehead. “We have come to the land of the Cyclops. They are the one-eyed sons of Poseidon, the sea god. They have no sense of right or wrong” (Odyssey, p.6). Using his guiles, Odysseus and his men escape from the clutches of the Cyclops. While fleeing, Odysseus shouts out to Polyphemus, the monster that Odysseus blinded, “I am Odysseus, hero of Troy and king of Ithaca! It was I who blinded you, Cyclops!” (Scene 3, line 34) When Poseidon hears this, he directs his anger through a fury at sea. Odysseus and his men manage to escape the fury, but not before they had to face many hardships. After this great escape, Odysseus and the few lucky men land on the island of the dead, where he faced certain death, but manages to escape. Then it was the Aeaean Island, where, Odysseus and his men are captured by Circe, an enchantress. He manages to free his men from her clutches as she had turned them all into pigs. However, he stays with her for a while. Finally, when Odysseus asks Circe permission to leave on his journey back home, Circe warns him and says, “I will not keep you here against your will. But I'm sorry to tell you that your journey does not end with me. In fact, it has hardly begun” (Scene 5, lines 17-18). After a long journey, Odysseus finally reaches the shores of his land, only to find that his long absence had brought a number of suitors to seek his wife’s hand in marriage. Disguised as a beggar, he enters the kingdom and kills all the prospective suitors to win his wife back.
While Odysseus and his men had to face many dangers on their way back home, contemporary soldiers face a lot of official and bureaucratic legislations before they are allowed to go home from the front. They have to first apply for leave and wait till it is approved. Approvals are based on the nature of the conflict and the seriousness of the war. Once approved, they have to ensure that there is a suitable replacement available to take on his/her duties during the period of the vacation. If sufficient reinforcements are not available, leave may not be sanctioned and they are left to continue with their duties until such time, their leave is accepted.
McAuliff, A C, (2004), The Odyssey, Scholastic Inc., Volume 53(1), ISSN