Called the “son of Greenpoint” by his family and the community, many noted that Aleman was not just a son and a brother – he was a hero.
And on Monday, the Greenpoint native received a fitting hero's honor as Councilman Steve Levin, Assemblyman Joe Lentol and community leaders unveiled the co-naming of the northwest corner of India Street and Manhattan Avenue in honor of the sergeant.
“He was there doing his job, defending all of us and representing our country honorably,” Levin said. “A decorated war hero, Sgt. Aleman will be remembered by his loving family and all of Greenpoint. This block of Manhattan Avenue is now and will forever be ‘Sgt. Nicholas Aleman Way.’”
Aleman joined the United States Marine Corps in August 2004 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant on April 1, 2009.
He also served a previous tour of duty in Iraq from November 2007 to June 2008.
He was the recipient of several awards, such as the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
“He knew a lot about everything,” said Aleman's sister, Stephanie. “He liked to read, he was artistic, he loved animals and he was very family-oriented and all about the Marine Corps.”
She said the family is grateful for the community's honoring of her brother.
“It's nice to know your friends and family will remember him because they know and love him but it's a big deal when the community you're from recognizes the loss,” she said. “For that we're honored.”
Aleman was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan near the border of Pakistan in 2010. He was 24 years old.