Call to serve brings veteran to Hooksett Town Council
HOOKSETT — After spending 12 years serving America in the Armed Forces, Adam Jennings will spend at least the next seven months serving Hooksett after being appointed as the new Councilor at Large by the Town Council Wednesday night.
The vacancy Jennings, 31, was voted in to fill occurred when former vice-chair and Deerfield Town Administrator Leslie Boswak resigned due to time constraints.
"I figured if I don't do it, someone who wants to take my freedom or money will, and I spent 12 years defending the Constitution. Residents can expect me to be fiscally responsible and to have an understanding of residents' concerns. And I am always willing to talk to somebody if they want," Jennings said.
Jennings, a native of Illinois, joined the army the day after he graduated from high school and ended up serving as a medic in the Green Berets special forces unit. Jennings performed multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa, and for his service in Afghanistan, Jennings was given a Bronze Star Medal, which is given to individuals for acts of heroism, merit or meritorious service in a combat zone.
"We were in a valley in Afghanistan when we were ambushed, and I helped patch everyone up and get them (evacuated to a hospital at a nearby base.) I think that is the main thing I got the medal for," Jennings said.
He added, "In the Green Berets medics are still soldiers, so while there are specialists, everyone has the same job until that speciality is needed. Everyone is proficient, no one stands by."
Jennings, who also has a masters in Biotechnology that he earned while serving, was one of two candidates the board considered. He was voted in 7-1, with board member Robert Duhaime supporting the other candidate, Tom Keach.
"Well I was certainly very happy, his qualifications, especially serving, are very impressive. I think he is ready. I look for someone who is engaged, willing to serve and shows interest and is excited about helping the town, and in my mind he fits the bill. I think the rest of the (Town Council) will be very happy with him," Town Council Chair James Sullivan said.
Town Administrator Dean Shankle said that it is good that the Town Council is getting a new member.
"He will bring a different perspective than most of the councilors so it will be good. He has a good background, a young guy, and I think the board was looking for some new blood. He has a good military background, obviously a disciplined hard working young guy, so that is what (the Town Council) went with," Shankle said.
Jennings, who lives with his wife and three young daughters and works from home, said he fell in love with Hooksett after looking around the area for a place to put down roots after he left the army.
"I think there is a great sense of community in Hooksett, and I would like to keep that. We don't have onerous tax regulations, and good businesses are located here. I think there are some things that we can improve but overall we are very well located, and more businesses like Bass Pro Shops are coming," Jennings said.
As a fill-in councilor, Jennings' term will only last until the next election in May, 2014. Jennings added that he is undecided if he will run for re-election.
"We will see how things go, and then I will talk with my wife and I will figure it out in the spring," Jennings said.