Column: Being part of a military family is challenging and rewarding

Madisyn Bornfleth and family
Madisyn Bornfleth and family


Madisyn Bornfleth
Oxford Stories

Growing up in a military household can negatively affect some people. But I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. Yet a lot of people don’t understand what children go through who have a parent in the military.

My dad has been in the Marine Corps for 23 years. Since I was a little girl, I have looked up to my father. He is genuine, funny, so family-oriented and loves to represent his country. One of the positive effects of being a military child was moving around a lot.

I was born in Oceanside, California, where I lived for a couple of years. My dad was deployed twice in those years to Afghanistan and Iran, where he had to leave my mom and his three children behind.

A lot of people don’t understand how hard it is for one parent to be deployed. My mom had to take care of my sister, my newborn baby brother and myself all alone not knowing if my dad would make it back home.

I then moved to Pennsylvania and Arizona, where I spent fourth grade to sophomore year of high school. My dad was deployed a third time during my transition from eighth grade to freshman year of high school.

During that time, it affected my two younger brothers and myself. As the oldest child, realizing my dad could possibly not return home gave me anxiety. Finally, my dad came home, and I just had a feeling we were going to move again..

I moved during the summer going into my junior year of high school to Meridian, Mississippi. I cried for days, since I dreaded moving to a small town.

I finished my last two years of high school there and was ready for my parents to leave. This past summer, my family moved to North Carolina, and we love it there.

A lot of people ask me: How do you do it? How do you just get up and leave your friends? For me, moving was always fun. I get to experience new places and make friends all around the states. All of my siblings and me watching my dad take off for his third deployment.

The only time I was upset and nervous was moving during high school, especially these days when it’s harder to make friends, and girls are just plain mean. But moving a lot has given me such a bubbly personality. I know that anywhere I go I can meet people and make new friends.

Something I dislike about moving around a lot is not being close to my grandparents/ cousins, etc. We only really see everyone in the summer, and I wish we could see them more. It’s hard not being able to just go down the street and visit them. So every time I do see my family, I don’t take it for granted.

Being a junior in college when my family moved to North Carolina, I didn’t think it would affect me as much as it is now. I miss being able to drive three hours home when I had a bad week here at Ole Miss or I failed an exam I studied so hard for. I never realized how hard it must be for out-of-state kids to not see their family until Thanksgiving/ Christmas breaks.

One of my favorite places to live was Yuma, Arizona. I lived there for some of the most important years of a kids’ life from fourth through sophomore year of high school. I made so many friends, and my middle school was the only school I fully finished at, since I was there for all three years.

You will never fully understand how being a military “brat” is until you’ve experience it for yourself. The affect it takes on a family is rough, but it is what makes us stronger than ever.

Madisyn Bornfleth.
Madisyn Bornfleth

Madisyn Bornfleth, 20, is a junior from Swansboro, North Carolina. Throughout high school, she cheered and played softball. When her family moved to Meridian, she learned about Ole Miss. She was determined to attend Arizona State University, since most of her friends went there, but she toured Ole Miss with a friend and decided to attend.

Bornfleth came to Ole Miss to study nursing, but decided to pursue writing, reading and sports. She is pursuing a career in sports journalism. She hopes to intern for ESPN or the SEC network. Her dream job is to become a sports sideline reporter for the NFL. She plans on moving back to Arizona after graduation, but now, she’s seeking an internship.


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