AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – He spent years in the Army, but his service to his country didn’t end there. That’s why Watik Aleem of Aurora is being honored as the FOX31 Serving Those Who Serve Hero of the Month for April 2021.
“Oh man, is this for real?,” Aleem asked when handed the plaque and a $500 Visa gift card from our Serving Those Who Serve sponsors, Ford Dealers, Plumbline Services and The Leo Hill Charitable Trust.
Aleem was deployed to Desert Storm and spent some time in South Korea. And for the last several years, he’s served his fellow Colorado veterans as a commissioner for the Aurora Veterans Affairs Commission. He’s been involved with a number of local veterans charities, from the United Veteran Coalition of Colorado to WarriorNOW, a group that works with veterans struggling with mental illness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and addiction.
Aleem and the other volunteers mentor veterans, and check in with them daily via Zoom to talk about their life and their problems.
“It took me over 15 years to get the help that I needed. But for me to give back, I need to start letting our fellow veterans not wait that long if I can,” Aleem told FOX31.
He’s also helped homeless veterans find food, housing and employment. Friends say Aleem is the definition of what it means to put service above self.
“I take pride in these things that have helped me get myself together, so I want to share that with my fellow veterans and make sure they get the help they need as well,” he said.
Ask anyone who knows him, and they’ll tell you Aleem is the embodiment of the word “hero.” So it makes sense that we make the title official by honoring him as our Hero of the Month.
To nominate a veteran, active duty service member, military family member or volunteer for Hero of the Month honors, visit our Serving Those Who Serve nomination page.