Steve Tanelli

Steve Tanelli

Bergen County Veteran of the Week: Alex Hernandez

Alex Hernandez was born in Cuba in 1958. As a United States citizen, who was born abroad, he left Cuba with his family at the beginning of communism and settled in the Bronx. After living in the Bronx for a few years, his family relocated to Queens.

In 1977, Mr. Hernandez joined the New York Army National Guard and was commissioned a second lieutenant after graduating from Queens College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Education in 1980. He served in the New York Army National Guard until he was transferred to the Army Reserves and attached as a personnel officer to the 77th Infantry Division. He served there until being transferred to the United States Army Personnel Command in Alexandria, Virginia.

During his time in the United States Army Reserve, Alex worked as a teacher for three years in Queens, New York. After meeting his lovely wife, Alex switched jobs following their move to Bogota, New Jersey in 1984 and worked as a store manager. He then became a social worker and supervisor for services provided to the developmentally disabled population in Hudson, Passaic, and Bergen counties.

Following the September 11 attacks, Mr. Hernandez was ordered into active duty to serve as an operations officer for worldwide mortuary affairs and was stationed at the Pentagon. During his third year of activation, Alex oversaw operations at the Personal Effects Depot at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and served as an advisor to Personal Effects Depot in Iraq, which he visited at the end of 2003. While on active duty, Mr. Hernandez earned an advanced degree in leadership.

In 2004, he returned to his position as County Supervisor for the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Northern Region of New Jersey and remained there until his retirement in 2014. Throughout his career, Alex impacted the lives of many Bergen County residents with his involvement in mental health, education, and children with special needs. It was these experiences that drove Mr. Hernandez to volunteer his expertise following his retirement to teach special education.

Alex is very active in both his community and in the veterans community. He currently serves as the Commander of the Bogota Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for the tenth term and has previously served as the District Commander for the Bergen County VFW. He was appointed to the school board of Bogota four years ago and served one elected term. He has served as the district representative for the Bergen County School Boards Association and the New Jersey School Boards Association. Moreover, he currently serves as the Bergen Area Chairperson for the Department of Defense, Office of the Employer Support for the National Guard and Army Reserve. For all of his tireless work, Mr. Hernandez was the keynote speaker for the 2017 Bergen County POW/MIA ceremony.

While not in New Jersey, Mr. Hernandez enjoys his time in Florida. In order to keep himself busy, he does real estate development in New Jersey and boat sales in Florida. 

Thank you for your 34 years of service to our nation!

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.

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Freeholder Steve Tanelli

Freeholder Steve Tanelli

Steven A. Tanelli was elected to the Bergen County Board of Freeholders on November 6, 2012. He currently serves as the Chair Pro Tempore of the Freeholder Board.

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