Jeff Holcomb is leaving his wife and two daughters behind, heading off for deployment in Southwest Asia. He could be gone up to a year.
“It’s not going to be easy, but there’s a lot of people who have done it before and a lot of people who will do it after me,” he said.
The intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve is needed for the war on terror. But he’s also leaving the thousands of people he represents as part of the Hernando County commission.
“What I have to face, it’s not going to have to be forever. It’s just going to be for a short amount of time, to do something that I think is needed for the country,” Holcomb said.
Holcomb surprised fellow commissioners when he dressed up in his Navy blues and told them about the deployment.
“It’s extremely unusual for a county commissioner to ask to be on the agenda and not let anybody know,” Commissioner Nick Nicholson said.
Holcomb’s seat won’t be filled while he’s gone.
And he actually plans on still doing his county job from thousands of miles away. That includes watching commission meetings online and answering emails.
“I’ll have to keep tabs on everything. It would feel really weird to be out of touch,” Holcomb said.
While Holcomb is gone, a Blue Star flag will hang in front of his commission chair, honoring his service.
“We will miss him here on the county commission. But what he’s doing is a great service to our country," Nicholson said.
Holcomb won’t say exactly where he’ll be stationed or what his mission is, but he leaves in less than two weeks.
As for his constituents, officials said they can turn to any of the other four commissioners for assistance.