Whether you are on your first or fifth reunion/re-integration from a deployment it is important not to assume you know how your returning member will think, feel or act. Each deployment is unique. You and your family member will have grown and changed each time, which will make each experience different.
What your family member and yourself have experienced is different, you will be older, your family and friends may have changed since the last tour, you may be living closer/farther apart from people, you each have experienced different stresses or happy moments than last deployment. Don’t assume that you know how things will be when you are back together.
Take time to ask each other what things you would like to do when you are back together
Ask questions rather than guess or assume – the rule should be… “If in doubt, ask.”
Talk to each other about things you want to do, need to do and think you should do – try to put each thing in one of those categories
Don’t make plans without consulting each other – do not assume that you will both want to do the same things you did before
Do not make committments to other people without talking to each other first