A Florida reader sent along a news item about the memorial service for U.S. Army PFC Branden Cummings:
About 1,000 people crammed into the Brevard Memorial Funeral Home and spilled into the parking lot for the funeral of U.S. Army PFC Branden Cummings of Titusville.
Cummings, who died, Feb. 14 in Iraq, was remembered by family members as “the outgoing jokester with a big heart who could make everbody laugh.
“What a life, what a life that has been lived by this man,” The Rev. Joe Robinson said in his eulogy. “What a legacy he has left behind.”
The Orlando Sentinel reports Cummings was “killed on Valentine’s Day by an improvised explosive device during combat in Baqouba, about 30 miles northeast of Baghdad. He was 20.”
He looked up to his father, Charles Cummings, a Titusville corrections officer who had raised his son by himself since the boy was a preschooler. He called his dad “my hero” in a letter on his MySpace page.
“He has made so many sacrifices to make sure I was happy and now maybe I can return the favor to him. He’s my dad, he’s my hero, and I love him with all my heart,” Cummings wrote.
In return, his father said he offered unwavering support when Cummings enlisted in 2005, even though he knew his son’s choice might one day lead him to the front lines in Iraq.
“He had a strong sense that he needed to be there. He felt that what we were doing [in Iraq] was just and right,” Charles Cummings said Saturday. “I was proud of him every single day for that.”
Branden Cummings was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood.
The Patriot Guard Riders attended the funeral. Here is a memorial website called Our Guys Over There honoring Cummings and his platoon, including SSG Daniel Morris, killed Nov. 25 in Diyala province after an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
You can e-mail the platoon members and leave messages for the Cummings and Morris families here. Show your support.