Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph D. Alomar, 22, of Brooklyn, New York
Petty Officer Alomar was assigned to the Navy Provisional Detention Battalion at Camp Bucca, Iraq. He died in a non-combat related incident January 17, 2007.
amNew York -- A 22-year-old Brooklyn man who died in a noncombat situation in Iraq on Jan. 17 was remembered Saturday by his family as the engaging, athletic oldest brother of a large family.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph D. Alomar, who was based at Camp Bucca, a Naval detention center and had served for two-and-half years, died in a "hostile fire zone," a defense department release said. His death is under investigation, it said.
On Thursday afternoon, two officers disclosed the news of Alomar's passing to his stepmother, Aileen Encarnacion, 39, who raised him since the age of 4 and still lives at his childhood home in Cypress Hills. The family's living room is adorned with trophies from his days playing high school baseball and basketball.
Also at the home were three of Alomar's seven siblings and three step-siblings. Alomar's wife, Jennifer, who could not be reached, and 5-year-old daughter Jalleeha live in Virginia Beach, Va.
Sabrina Figueroa, 15, last heard from her brother, who she called "Little Joey," on Jan. 14 in an e-mail. She said he wrote to his younger sister, affectionately calling her "Brina," about how proud he was to have "such a pretty sister."
"He was a good brother and now a good hero," Figueroa said. "With Little Joey, there's nobody that didn't like him."
Alomar enjoyed being in the service and had wanted to join the military since he was a boy, his family said. "He loved it ... He was very fascinated with it, with everything, the Marines, the Navy, Army, everything," said Figueroa.
But Alomar, who attended James Madison High School in Brooklyn, said little about his assignment in Iraq. "He did say he was on a ship at one time. Then they put him on land after. Then they put him on security ... He was very tight about what he did. He wanted to come home," said Encarnacion.
The last time Alomar was in Brooklyn was nine months ago, before shipping out for his tour of duty, during one of three one-week breaks. He took his siblings ice skating in Central Park. Encarnacion made his favorite dinner of beans and fried chicken.
The family said they want to know more about Alomar's death. "They said that there was going to be an investigation. There really were no details other than there was a bullet to his head," she said.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph D. Alomar died on 01/17/07.
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