U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is the country's first Native Hawaiian Senator and the first Native Hawaiian to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
He was first elected to the U.S. House in 1976 and appointed to the Senate in 1990.
His last day in office will be Jan. 2.
For the final time in his 36-year career in Congress, Sen. Akaka formally addressed his colleagues on Wednesday.
"It’s been an incredible journey that I never imagined," said Akaka.
In his 20-minute speech, Akaka reflected on how joining the war effort following the attack on Pearl Harbor changed his life forever and he revealed a very personal issue.
"When the war ended, I believe I was suffering from PTSD," said Akaka. "It was an act of Congress that allowed me, and the veterans of my generation, to build successful new lives."
Akaka said the GI Bill provided him the support he needed and it's one reason the senator said he lobbied so heavily for veterans affairs throughout his career. He urged his colleagues to continue to support our troops.
"Do everything you can for our veterans and their families who we asked to sacrifice so much for us," said Akaka.