By Juli McDonald

BOSTON (CBS) – A humbling salute in Boston’s Seaport Tuesday – as the city welcomes some of our country’s most courageous heroes – recipients of the Medal of Honor. A five-day convention unites veterans who have received the medal.

Tom Kelley of Somerville served 30 years in the Navy; he’s honored for his brave and brilliant leadership in Vietnam. “We came under fire and we managed to get everybody out of there and save the people we were protecting,” Kelley said. “For that they gave me the Medal of Honor, believe it or not.”

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Medal of Honor recipient Tom Kelley of Somerville (WBZ-TV)

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest and rarest military decoration – bestowed upon the bravest – heroes who risked everything, above and beyond the call of duty.

“It was on my seventh deployment I got injured – got shot through both my legs and lost my right hand. Had the option to get out and re-enlisted – stayed in another six years,” Leroy Petry said.

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Petry enlisted just before September 11th. The attacks changed the course of his service and life. Even as he wears the Medal of Honor near his heart – in his mind are those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those still serving.

“I tell my kids dad is retired from the Army. The men and women still serving in uniform are the heroes,” he said.

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“Any one of these guys will say the same thing. I’m the same person I was before I joined the service. Nothing changed, but it is very humbling to be able to wear this,” Kelley added.

Juli McDonald