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Bergdahl back to U.S., continues reintegration: Pentagon

English.news.cn   2014-06-13 23:48:32

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. serviceman Bowe Bergdahl, the long-time Taliban captive, had arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, to continue his reintegration process, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.

Bergdahl's captors released him in a prisoner swap on May 31 after holding him captive for years. He initially was treated at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, and later at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

While at the Texas Army base, Bergdahl "will continue the next phase of his reintegration process," U.S. Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said, adding there was no timeline for the process.

According to Kirby, Bergdahl arrived at the San Antonio Military Medical Facility at Fort Sam Houston Friday morning where he will undergo Phase III reintegration. U.S. Army South is the lead command for reintegration and will ensure he receives the necessary care, time and space to complete the process.

Among other components of this phase, Bergdahl will continue to receive medical treatment and debriefings. Following his reintegration, the Army would continue its comprehensive review into the circumstances of his disappearance and captivity, he said.

"Our focus remains on his health and well-being," he said, adding Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was confident the Army would continue to ensure that Bergdahl receives the care, time and space he needed to complete his recovery and reintegration.

A proof-of-life video provided by Bergdahl's captors raised concerns for the soldier's health, accelerating the pace of negotiations that culminated in the prisoner exchange.

Speaking to reporters on June 5, officials from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) explained that when service members or Defense Department civilians are returned after being captured, separated from their unit or otherwise isolated, they enter a three-step reintegration program designed to assist them as they transition back to normal life.

The phases varied in length, depending on the needs of each returnee, and not all returnees went through every phase, a Defense Department personnel recovery expert with JPRA said, adding each phase ended with the recovered individual either being returned to duty or recommended for the next phase in the process.

Editor: yan
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