They just don't make ‘em like they used to.

I was blessed to have two grandfathers who sacrificially served their country with honor and pride. They were men – real men. They were not fearful cowards when it came to standing up for what was right and honorable.

My poppy was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and received the National Defense Medal. He was a man of few words, but he lived a life that spoke volumes as a devout Christian, father, and husband.

My PawPaw was also a U.S. Army veteran, and those who knew him knew he didn't back down or show fear. Consistent and hard-working, he expected everyone to give their very best and show no weakness.

It was an honor to have them both in my life and for my parents to be raised in homes with men who taught such valuable lessons. They certainly didn't take excuses, but instead, pushed their offspring to be better.

Our country definitely lacks men of that caliber these days.

Although I was fortunate enough to have two grandfathers, a father, and now a husband who all model such masculine values, most men are not like them and have become weak. But our country needs strong men to lead it back to greatness. We need men willing to lay down their lives to defend our country and not cower in the face of adversity. We need men who are grounded in their faith and take responsibility.

I know many men served their country just as my grandfathers did, and I pray that the generations under them will rise up and stay true to their convictions. I pray they remember the principles upon which this country was founded. I pray they spark a fire in all of us.

Let's not just thank a veteran on Veterans Day. Let's remember to thank them every day. We would not have the freedoms we have today had it not been for them and the courage they had to fight.

Many out there would see fit to take those freedoms away. We must not let them win!

"Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they've suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us." - President Ronald Reagan

Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. She is currently working on an inspirational book of short stories. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

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