Celaya was one of just 316 men who survived for five torturous days in the sea. They were rescued after being spotted by a passing Allied plane.
He said struggling early in life gave him the grit to survive.
"If they had been around here when I was about 5 or 6 years old, they would understand why I'm still around," he said. "Because if you made it around here during the depression, you would probably make it here for quite a while."
Out of the 316 men who were saved from the attack, only eight are alive today.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, their annual in-person reunion has been canceled. However, an event will be held virtually.
Just six are healthy enough to participate, but that has not stopped some big names in entertainment, such as Matthew McConaughey and Gary Sinise, from honoring them all.
The Congressional Gold Medal, established in the days of the American Revolution, is the highest expression of national appreciation to honor the USS Indianapolis crew's perseverance, bravery and service to the United States of America.
"I am very honored, very honored," Celaya said.
This year's virtual reunion will be taking place Thursday and Friday.
For a link to schedule and to find out how you can watch the live events, visit ussindianapolis.com.