Yahaira Padilla is an Army veteran who served almost 15 years of active duty. During her service, she had multiple overseas assignments including one in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and served as a 12 Yankee (Geospatial Engineer). As a Geospatial Engineer, she was responsible for collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial information that supported military and civilian operations for Disaster Relief and Homeland Security.  

Currently, Ms. Padilla resides in Elmwood Park and works in Hackensack, New Jersey as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Bergen County Veteran Services. She is responsible for many different facets of the office including the coordination and organization of outreach events, such as the Military Appreciation Month Ceremony, the PTSD Awareness seminar, and the POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony. Her dedication is one of the reasons that the Division of Veteran Services continues its excellent level of service to the almost 30,000 veterans that call Bergen County home.

Padilla is currently enrolled and will graduate with a Master of Business Administration from Farleigh Dickinson University (FDU). As an undergraduate at FDU, Yahaira served as the President of the FDU Student Veterans Club where she mentored many incoming veteran students, partnered with Bergen County Veteran Services to organize food drives, and played a critical role in assisting FDU obtain Purple Heart status.

Outside of work, Ms. Padilla tirelessly serves the community and veterans of Bergen County. She is an active member of her local American Legion and The Veterans of Foreign Wars post. She has previously served on the NJ SOS Veteran Stakeholders Woman’s Sub-Committee, an organization which championed to get more health care access to female veterans and was instrumental in advocating for New Jersey Assembly Joint Resolution 183, which as of 2019 designates June 12 as Women Veterans Appreciation Day in New Jersey. For her hard work and community advocacy, she was a woman veteran honoree at the 37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning.

Thank you for you service to our country and for continuing to serve the people of Bergen County.  

Nominate a Veteran for #BergenCountyVeteranOfTheWeek

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you?

The #BergenCountyVeteranOfTheWeek social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Bergen County Division of Veteran Services

The Division of Veterans Services was established in 1977 to provide resident veterans and their dependents with information and assistance in obtaining earned entitlements from federal, state, and local governments, as well as any that are available from the private sector.

Through a quarterly newsletter and direct client contact, the division provides Bergen’s veterans organizations and their auxiliaries and individual residents with up-to-date benefit information.

Picture of Commissioner Steve Tanelli

Commissioner Steve Tanelli

Steven A. Tanelli was elected to the Bergen County Board of Commissioners on November 6, 2012. Commissioner Tanelli served as Chairman in 2016 and 2021, Vice Chairman in 2015, and Chair Pro Tempore in 2020.

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