At times, it's difficult to think that the bright young
man with a big smile who loved to joke around is gone.
"Sometimes I feel like he'll walk through the door," Charles
Since Branden's death, family and friends have been there
for Charles to keep him active and make him laugh.
His co-workers, many who have served in Iraq themselves,
keep mementos of Branden in their offices. Some have bookmarks with the soldier's picture, while others have items from SpongeBob
Squarepants, Branden's favorite cartoon character.
And the Cummings family has seen an outpouring of support
from people they had never even met.
Officials at Brevard Memorial Park have told his family
that retired soldiers have come to Branden's grave to pay their respects.
"It just goes to show you how important our soldiers are
to people today," Charles said.
Public memorials like a Titusville woman's project to
put troops' names on quilts and a Melbourne church's display of posts for all
military personnel killed help Charles as he grieves.
"Our men and women who are there are there because they
believe in what they are doing," he said. "I think we need to show every man and woman in the military how much we appreciate