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From reunion to reintegration

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron kisses his spouse after returning to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 4, 2017. Airmen returned after a six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron kisses his spouse after returning to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 4, 2017. Airmen returned after a six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing embraces his spouse after returning to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 5, 2017. The 79th Fighter Squadron and 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen were required to attend a reintegration briefing aimed at smoothing their transition home after a six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing embraces his spouse after returning to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 5, 2017. The 79th Fighter Squadron and 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen were required to attend a reintegration briefing aimed at smoothing their transition home after a six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron (FS) hugs his children after returning to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 4, 2017. After arriving home from their six-month deployment, 79th FS Airmen began the processes of reconnecting with their families and day-to-day life of being stateside. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

A U.S. Airman assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron (FS) hugs his children after returning to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 4, 2017. After arriving home from their six-month deployment, 79th FS Airmen began the processes of reconnecting with their families and day-to-day life of being stateside. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- As military members and their families reunite after a deployment or an extended separation, their resiliency, or ability to bounce back, is tested.

Service members must reintegrate in to their home environment and family members may need to readjust to sharing responsibilities during this time.

“Reintegration is reconnecting with your day-to-day lifestyle, whether it’s at home (or) work, or normal sleeping or social behaviors,” said Airman 1st Class Daniel Caraglio, 20th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician. “Some difficulties could be developing a team mentality again when it comes to the household and getting on the same page. The key factor there is communication.”

Caraglio recommended families keep an open line of communication to learn each other’s limits as they get comfortable with the new changes.

The amount of time it takes service members and their families to adjust depends on the individuals and the specifics of the deployment, such as location and duration.

“Reintegration is a process, not an event,” said Master Sgt. Tiffany Rankins, 20th Force Support Squadron readiness NCO in charge.

Even after post-deployment briefings and returning to work following leave, they are still reintegrating, said Rankins. It is up to their wingmen and helping agencies to step up during this time to encourage a smooth transition.

The following resources are available for individuals in need of assistance readjusting after a deployment: Military Family Life Consultants, chaplains, the behavioral health clinic and the mental health clinic.