I think a good argument could be made for The Odyssey being the most influential work in western literature. The story of Odysseus’ return home from the Trojan War is certainly one of my favourite works. I’m posting this to recommend this link:
I had never thought of The Odyssey in these terms but when I think of it now, Odysseus really is the quintessential war veteran. To quote from the article:
… It is “The Odyssey” that most directly probes the theme of the war veteran’s return. Threaded through this fairytale saga, amid its historic touchstones, are remarkable scenes addressing aspects of the war veteran’s experience that are disconcertingly familiar to our own age. Odysseus returns home to a place he does not recognize, and then finds his homestead overrun with young men who have no experience of war. Throughout his long voyage back, he has reacted to each stranger with elaborate caginess, concocting stories about who he is and what he has seen and done — the real war he keeps to himself.