A true Greek hero must achieve honor and glory that resonates even after his death. The Greek word, kleos (κλέος) embodies this concept of posthumous glory. The word is related to more modern term kudos (kŷdos), meaning “fame and renown resulting from an act or achievement.”  Kleos also stems from the Greek word kluô “to hear.”  Greek poets used spoken word to convey the glory and fame warriors earned based on their actions, making perfect sense of the word’s roots. Roughly translated, kleos means, “glory, fame, which is heard.” 
In Homer’s Iliad, the term kleos is used – as well as referred to in more recent translations – when Odysseus, Ajax and Phoenix convince Achilles to return to fight. Achilles responds in “Mother tells me, the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet, that two fates bear me on the day of death. If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory (kleos) never dies. If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies ... true, but the life that’s left me will be long, the stroke of death will not come on me quickly.”  Though Achilles has the option to return home, he chooses to fight and earn his glory, because “unlike natural flowers that go through the cycle of blooming and then wilting, this unnatural flower, this kleos, will forever stay the same, never losing its color, aroma, and overall beauty.”  This is the only decision for Achilles, as he is the most powerful warrior in the Iliad.
Though kleos is closely related to kudos, its journalistic use in the 1920s to describe playwrights and other artists has significantly watered down its original meaning.  In the Iliad, kudos was given to a warrior who achieved something good, but it was not up to par with the acts it took to receive kleos, which is often associated with the grave.  This shift in meaning is why scholars use the word glory instead of kudos when referring to a contemporary version of kleos.
21st century scholarship’s portrayal of the glory of war has changed very little over time. Maintaining honor and glory through acts of war are two concepts that span time and culture. Though the United States doesn’t use poetry or oral tales of soldiers passed down from generation to generation, those who earned kleos are awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
 kudos. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved September 7, 2009, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kudos
Redfield, J. (1975). Nature and culture in the Iliad: the tragedy of Hector . Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
 Nagy, G. The Concept of the Hero. Retrieved September 7, 2009, from Rediscovering Homer: Poetry and Performance Web site: http://athome.harvard.edu/programs/nagy/threads/concept_of_hero.html
 Homer, Iliad 9.497–505
 kudos. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved September 07, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/kudos