Meet RSM Pursue Your Passion Winner: Josh Milazzo
Audit Assurance Supervisor | Jacksonville, FL
In my mind I can still see myself sitting in the carport in Utah, staring at my dad’s motorcycle. I could not wait until I was old enough to ride it myself. I would sit on it, twist the throttle and pretend that I was riding through the streets with the wind blowing around me. Some of my most cherished memories are riding with my dad through the twisty and hilly roads of the Wasatch Mountains.
Dad’s work took our family to New Jersey after my first year of high school. One evening I was frustrated with homework and my dad came into my room. He asked me if I wanted to go on a motorcycle ride and without hesitation I said “YES!” The two of us hopped on his motorcycle and we cruised through the streets of northeast New Jersey. All of the frustration I felt from school melted away as I enjoyed the freedom of the ride.
Sadly, before I had the chance to ride it myself, my dad sold the motorcycle. Although I would not be able to ride my dad’s motorcycle, I was determined to get one for myself someday. While attending college I finally bought my own motorcycle. It was AMAZING! I took it all over – around town, to lakes and the mountains. However, when I started a family and moved to Florida, I unfortunately needed to sell the motorcycle because money was tight.
Later, my younger brother purchased his first motorcycle while serving in the United States Marine Corps. One day I had the opportunity to take it for a ride. The feeling of freedom with the wind blowing around me brought back all the wonderful memories I had on motorcycles, and my passion for riding was rekindled. I simply had to get another motorcycle for myself so I began saving money to buy one. After a few years of saving, my brother (who at this time was serving in the US Army 82nd Airborne) and I were talking with each other and he shared that a dream of his was to ride motorcycles together along the California Pacific Coast Highway. I LOVED the idea and it instantly became a dream trip; it was just a matter of finding the time and sufficient resources to make it happen.
Then in December 2018, my brother tragically passed away while in active duty service in the US Army 82nd Airborne. Our dream of brothers riding together along the Pacific Coast Highway together was devastatingly taken away. My dad and I now both own motorcycles and we frequently ride together. This past Memorial Day, the two of us rode from Florida to Washington DC to take part in Rolling Thunder (in honor and respect for our Fallen Heroes, POW/MIA’s and veterans) and were able to ride our motorcycles from the Pentagon to downtown Washington DC, remembering those who have given their lives for our country, particularly, my younger brother.
My passion for riding motorcycles and feeling for the freedom of the ride is to make my brother’s dream a reality. To fulfill this dream, I want to ride the Pacific Coast Highway with my dad in remembrance of the life and service my younger brother gave to God, our country and our family. With my brother in our hearts, he will be able to make this trip t with us.
I plan to begin the adventure by flying from Florida to Redding, California, where we will rent two motorcycles and begin to journey southward along California’s coastline. The journey will include enjoying the beautiful views of the coastline from the highway and stopping at scenic points along the way. There are many things to see and do along the way, but I am looking forward to a few highlights. The Redwood Forest is unique to the West Coast and is a sight I look forward to experiencing in person. Riding over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge surely will be an unforgettable experience. We will include a detour to ride through the majestic Yosemite National Park. While in Los Angeles we plan to ride through the twisty mountains of Angeles National Forest. The Hearst Castle is a beautiful landmark I would love to see and tour in person. We will also take the opportunity to stretch our legs and enjoy beautiful state parks. We will finalize the trip with a visit to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Museum in San Diego, California. From San Diego, we will make our return flight home.
As we make our trip, we will capture the scenery with GoPro cameras mounted to our helmets and/or motorcycles. This will allow us to record the adventure and enjoy these memories with our family for years to come. My dad and I have made many trips that we could not share with others other than by describing what we saw, which never did them justice. This trip will be much more impactful since we will be able to record our experience along the way.
My brother is a man of values. While in the US Army he was a paratrooper demonstrating that he had courage. He wanted to share an amazing motorcycle adventure with me, showing that he was caring and collaborative. He wanted to see and explore new parts of the country because he was curious. My brother’s commanding officer in the Army told me several stories where my brother was assigned a task and demonstrated critical thinking to accomplish the assignment. My brother naturally lived by a set of core values because it was in his nature. It is in remembrance of my brother and the values he lived that I want to make this trip a reality and share with others.