NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Classrooms across New Orleans welcomed Medal of Honor recipients who are in town for the annual “medal of honor society” convention on Wednesday, Nov 1. Several of those men spoke to students in a handful of schools, sharing stories about courage and sacrifice.

“It wasn’t exactly what you would call, a we are going to go out there and win speech. We were laying it out on the line and letting them know, things like life is not fair, you’re going to fail but you got to get up, you got to dust yourself off,” said Vietnam veteran Gary Michael Rose.

Rose served in the Army. He received his medal for extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, which ultimately saved numerous lives.

Rose says one of the best things about conventions like these are not being recognized for his work but rather, reuniting with his longtime friends and fellow soldier’s.

“We see most of these guys once a year,” said Rose. “It makes you feel good to see someone you had a part of your life with and in many cases you went through a trying or hardship with and you both survived. It’s just good to see people like Melvin and the rest of the guys.”

Although his medal is what brought him here and many other opportunities, rose says, that’s not what defines him.

“I mean, it’s not my life,” Rose said. “The medal of honor is not my life. I’ve got grandchildren. I go watch drive quarter midgets. I go to soccer games and watch my grandchildren.”

He says what he loves now is giving back to others and meeting new people to share his experiences with.

“I’ve had a good time here,” said Rose. “It’s all been cool, and a lot of fun.”

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