Fifty-four of the 81 living Congressional Medal of Honor recipients are in Hawaii this week.
It's an annual gathering for these men who served their country beyond bravery.
"Just like any other soldier, all I did was my job," said retired Sgt. Robert Patterson.
Patterson, 64, was a 20 year old Army soldier in Vietnam when he was credited with charging through heavy enemy fire and single-handedly destroying five North Vietnamese positions while killing eight of the enemy.
"Any soldier would have done it. It just so happened to be I was the soldier that did it," said Patterson.
He and fellow soldier James Taylor are members of an exclusive society of service members who have been awarded nation's highest military award for valor under fire.
"It’s just a great honor to be able to be recommended and nominated and to receive the medal, because I wear this great medal in honor of every man and woman that ever served this great country," said 74-year-old retired Capt. James Taylor.
Hawaii has a fair share of recipients, dating back to World War II.
But of the 3,459 medal recipients, only 81 are alive today, making this annual reunion even more special for those gifted with age.
The medal brings celebrity status, but it also comes with heavy responsibility.
"You tend to have to stop and think about things before you actually do them, because the last thing you want to do is bring disgrace on it," said Patterson.
The criteria to receive the nation's highest honor is rigorous, yet to those who have earned it, they say the highest compliment you can offer them is simple -- thank you for your service.
There are events being held throughout the week honoring the Medal of Honor recipients and the public is invited to attend. It starts with a Memorial Stone Dedication ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 3.
On Oct. 5, from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m., actor Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will perform a free concert at a downtown block party on Nimitz Highway between Smith Street and Nuuanu Avenue. Medal of Honor recipients will be the guests of honor.
A book signing at the Hale Koa Hotel on Oct. 6 provides a chance to meet more than 50 Medal of Honor recipients. Tickets need to be purchased ahead of time at www.medalofhonorconvention2012.com.
And a Patriot Award Dinner is being held aboard the USS Missouri on Oct. 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. For tickets go to email firstname.lastname@example.org.