Local member’s journey in serving her country

Davis Corman, News Editor

One of Bellefonte Area School District’s employees is temporarily leaving the district to serve her country in the U.S. Navy.

In the upcoming months, Bellefonte’s Public Relations Director, Brit Milazzo, will temporarily leave her position to fulfill her commitment to serving her country. Ms. Milazzo is being sent to Fort McCoy to train at the Army base on January 4. Throughout her deployment, Ms. Milazzo will undergo an 8 to 10 week training program to be stationed in Dam Neck, Virginia, to serve for another 26 weeks. As a result of the deployment occurring during the school year, Ms. Milazzo has made the difficult decision to leave the district temporarily. However, she stated that she “should be back in time for the start of the 2021-22 school year, where [she] will be back in my PR role at BASD.”

The roots of her desire to enlist in the military can be traced back to the young ages of Ms. Milazzo’s childhood. Growing up on Lake Ontario, Ms. Milazzo explained how her ambition originated in high school, when her house was a “couple of miles in one direction from the Coast Guard station in Rochester, New York.” Additionally, she proclaimed how her house was also “a couple of miles in the other direction from Braddock Bay, where the Coast Guard did a lot of training.”

Being so close to the military and seeing constant training, Ms. Milazzo was hooked from the start. However, a particular obstacle stood in her way: education. For a while, Ms. Milazzo had been receiving letters for recruitment and even had a recruiter to talk to, but stated that she “didn’t get the support to pursue.”

Ms. Milazzo was the first generation college student, and that was both her and her parents’ main priority for her. 

“It’s not because my family didn’t support the military – they do. My parents felt it was important first to get a college degree,” she said.

As a result, Ms. Milazzo attended Arizona State University, where she competed as a division one soccer athlete. She exclaimed how she was “glad [she] initially went that route” and would end up receiving two bachelor’s degrees in journalism and mass communication, with an emphasis in print, and English literature.

Once Ms. Milazzo finished her college degrees, she would eventually settle in Niagara, New York, to begin her military journey; more specifically, the Navy. 

“I contacted a Navy recruiter to see what my options were, and after a long conversation, he pointed me in the direction of the Navy Reserves. I ended up with interest in the Navy after looking into the history of my family in the military.”

Out of her family, Ms. Milazzo pinpointed her grandfather, who had a profound effect on her. 

“My grandfather was a third-class fireman during the Korean War…His enthusiasm and pride wore off on me, and because of him, I directly joined the Navy,” she said. 

Ms. Milazzo would end up enlisting in the Navy, but specifically as a Naval Reserve. She proclaimed how she “felt the Reserves were the best fit” for her.

“I really like what I do in my civilian life, and the Reserves allow me to keep my day job and other civilian activities while also having the chance to serve my country,” she said.

As Ms. Milazzo sets off on her enlisting, she has some words of advice for students who are contemplating joining the military.

“It’s not something to be indecisive about. There is extremely hard training, and you have to be both physically and mentally ready for it. However, it’s one of the greatest things a person can be a part of.”