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Meghan Overdeep
Apr 10, 2017 @ 10:45 am

Ashton Kutcher recently accepted an award for character, but if you ask him, he owes it all to his wife, Mila Kunis.

Kutcher returned to his native Iowa to receive the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award, which is given annually to "individuals who demonstrate good character as a role model." As he accepted the award at Drake University in West Des Moines, the 39-year-old funny man had the crowd laughing and close to tears, reports The Des Moines Register.

"Character hides and it comes out when you get smacked in the mouth," Kutcher told the audience, referencing his twin brother, Michael, who has cerebral palsy and had a heart transplant when he was a kid. "It comes out when you're walking your brother home from school and some kid hits you in the back of the head because he wants to fight with your brother and you say 'no' ... That's when character comes out."

"It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you learn from the mistakes that you make and how you perceive the world that's coming at you," he added. "Because life doesn't happen to you, it happens for you. Every single time. And as long as you have love and kindness and optimism and a pursuit of something greater in your heart, you're the lucky one. So this award is for you. It is for my family, it's for all four of my parents, it's for my wife, who kicks my ass on character every day."

Kutcher and Kunis, who married in 2015, have two children together: a daughter, Wyatt, 2, and a son, Dimitri, four months.

"I'm telling you, this morning, I woke up and she kicked my ass on character. I thought I was awesome because I got up early and helped with the kids before she woke up and I let her sleep a little bit and then she's like, 'Well, now you're gonna act tired? I do it every day.' But it was a character moment, right? Because she's right!"

Kutcher told the crowd that his kids have been his "greatest lesson in character" in his life.

"When I had these kids, my wife and I had these kids and we got to share that amazing, amazing, amazing honor, my first response was, I wanted to call my parents and say, 'I'm sorry, because I never knew how much you loved me,'" he said.

RELATED: Birthday Boy Ashton Kutcher Has the Cutest Things to Say About His Family

Watch the entire speech in the video above.

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