Coast Guard officials said that in Holm’s four years in command, there had been 350 search and rescue missions involving 696 lives. About $9 million in property was saved because of the rescue operations, according to Coast Guard estimates.
Because Holm is retiring from the service as well as leaving command, much of yesterday’s attention was focused on the soft-spoken Mobile native.
Capt. John C. O’Connor III, commander of Sector Boston, speaking during a segment of a ceremony to honor the departing leader, said, “Jason comes from a city near the Gulf of Mexico, and his family was made up of shipbuilders, shrimpers, oystermen and fishermen.
“His brother, Chad, was older and had been stationed in the Coast Guard at Destin, Fla., which is not far from Mobile. Chad encouraged Jason, and we have been fortunate to have him in our service.
“We wish him and his family the best of luck in the future.”
Holm credited the Coast Guard for helping him and his family in the past two decades.
“The Coast Guard took care of me until I could take care of myself,” said Holm, who entered the service after graduating from high school. “The service has been like a second family, and I value the mentors, colleagues and friends I have had.”
Holm, who was honored last year by the Newburyport Harbor Commission, also said, “I am pleased that Newburyport became a Coast Guard City while I was here.
“There are only 14 such cities in the country, and this is one community that has been very supportive of our service, We really appreciate the strong relationship that we have.”
Holm added, “I’m glad that my next job, in Chatham, will enable me to continue to work with the Coast Guard on coastal issues and rescue operations.”
Prior to coming to Newburyport, Holm had served at Station Destin (Fla.); Station Chatham; Station Provincetown: and at Kodiak, AK.
Among the honors he received yesterday was a proclamation of congratulations from President Obama.