Three brothers

My great-grandfather James Carpenter served on the USS Keokuk during Wwii; his oldest brother, Robert, served in the navy but on the Hornet cv-12. And His youngest brother, Herman, was a Marine in the Fleet marine force during the Korean War. Since I can remember, their legacy and patriotism have played a role in the things that I have accomplished and continue to achieve. Such as currently learning under Admiral Cothron, the former director of naval intelligence that guides our strategic intelligence research initiative at my university. I think what is most astonishing is that the Carpenter family is not entirely recognized as the big navy family as they are. Besides my great-grandfather and his brothers, five of their direct cousins served in the navy during WWII - if not more, I'm still counting. Distant cousins consist of Admiral Charles C. Carpenter, Naval Academy graduate Dr. Dudley Newcomb Carpenter, Rear Admiral Charles L. Carpenter, Lieutenant commander Donald M. Carpenter, in which he is the namesake of the USS Carpenter (DD-825). Through five sons, Capt. William Carpenter of the American Revolution became known as the father of "The Family of Heroes." Over 300 of his male lineal descendants served America in the Revolutionary War, more than any other American family. I have quite the boots to fill and a legacy to carry on, as well as the legacy of other great men who preserved my freedom before I knew the word - I make it my responsibility that I carry their names past and present. The world believes heroes are a thing of fiction, and to me, my generation needs these men as their heroes more than anything. I challenge any young person to find an All-American role model, carry their memory, fill their boots, and don't let their heroic deeds be yesterday's history. Everyone needs more than a couple of grandpa’s in their life; go find one, whether he is still here on this earth or is no longer - look up to him and make his legacy the center of your future and live by the thread in which God created him. You will rarely break if you have been sewn by an American hero. I know this because I have been sewn by their legacies myself; whether by relation or taking their boots as my own, I am and will be the future to their history.

- Audrey S.

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