September 13th, 2010
12:30 PM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta

The only living member of the military to be decorated with the U.S. Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War received a phone call of thanks and congratulations last week from President Barack Obama. Rose Giunta, mother of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, told a Cedar Rapids news station that her son was profoundly touched by the honor bestowed on him. Yet the deadly ambush, in which he lost a friend, was having a deep effect on him.

Giunta, 25, was on patrol in Afghanistan during the attack when his body armor protected him from what could have been a fatal bullet wound to the chest. Recovering from the blow, he saved two colleagues, and then recovered a mortally wounded soldier from two insurgents. He remained with the soldier until help arrived.

Giunta’s mother, who will not see her son until he returns to Washington to accept the award, described the award as bittersweet.

“As much as we're here because of what Sal did,” she said, “there's parents out there that will not know, they'll never know what this feels like. And yet, their sons and daughters deserve this too."

KWWL: Iowa soldier honored by President

KWWL: Parents of Medal of Honor recipient proud and humbled

Pete Rose

Following a day when he was honored for breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time hitting record, former Cincinnati Reds manager and player Pete Rose shocked a private audience Saturday when he broke down and apologized to former teammates and fans for illegally betting on Major League Baseball.

Rose, who was banned from the sport for life for the offense in 1989, publicly denied doing it until 2004. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Erardi, an event that began as a roast for Rose ended up as a repentance.

"I disrespected the game of baseball," Rose said "When you do that, you disrespect your teammates, the game and your family."

Rose then apologized to former teammates who were present, including Ken Griffey Sr., Tony Perez, George Foster and Cesar Geronimo. He also apologized to other members of the 1970s era “Big Red Machine” who were not present, including catcher Johnny Bench and Davey Concepcion.

Enquirer: Sobbing Pete Rose repents for betting on baseball

Ali Ahmad Asseri

A Saudi Arabian diplomat has asked the U.S. for political asylum because he is gay. Ali Ahmad Asseri is the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles. NBC reports Asseri notified the Department of Homeland Security saying that Saudi officials had revoked his diplomatic passport and ordered him home. He said that consulate employees had followed him to gay bars, and discovered that he also had formed a friendship with a Jewish woman from Israel.

Complicating matters further are reports that Asseri posted a letter on a website condemning his home country for its ‘backwardness. He also allegedly reported that he would expose other Saudi royalty who were employed by the U.S consulate, but were really living lives of leisure.

It’s the first time since 1994 that a Saudi diplomat is known to have sought asylum on human rights grounds. Asseri, who is said to be in hiding, told NBC in an email: “My life is in a great danger here and if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight.”

MSNBC: Saudi diplomat seeking asylum: 'My life is in danger'

Patti Davis

The staunchly liberal daughter of former President Ronald Reagan has written a scathing column in Newsweek saying that she and other supporters of Barack Obama are devastated by his performance as President, as well as his inability to empathize with the troubles of average Americans, particularly in light of the BP oil disaster.

“The no-drama, too-cool-for-school persona worked really well during the campaign, especially when he came up against a hothead like McCain,” Davis said. “But when you are leader of the free world and a man-made environmental disaster is wiping out an entire region of the country; when birds and turtles and marine mammals are dying excruciating deaths; when people are losing their entire way of life and their livelihoods; when millions of others are watching helplessly, weeping at the suffering and the devastation and trying to think of some way, no matter how small, to help ... being cool doesn’t cut it."

Newsweek: Patty Davis: Our disappointment with Obama

Mark Zuckerberg

The 26-year-old co-founder of Facebook has given an exclusive interview to the New Yorker, just one week after being placed at the top of Vanity Fair’s New Establishment List. The elusive Zuckerberg spoke to New Yorker contributor Juan Antonio Vargas, telling him that he handled the creation of Facebook poorly due to immaturity.

Zuckerberg is the subject of Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming film “The Social Network,” The biopic, which opens in November, is said to be a scathing portrait set during his days at Harvard University. In the New Yorker piece, Zuckerberg tells Vargas that much of what he has heard is in the film is wrong. “I know the real story,” he said.

New Yorker: Zuckerberg opens up

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Tengli

    You guys have been told numerous timew but it obviously does not sink in. THE MEDAL OF HONOR IS NOT SOMETHING YOU WIN! Military service is not the Olympics. You do not WIN medals. You are awrded them or decorated with them or you receive them. There is no game being played where you win a medal in the Military.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simon

      I couldn't agree more. I was thinking that when I clicked on the link.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ash

      That's what I was thinking, as well. This isn't a video game and you get the medal if you complete X, Y, and Z.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Silent Professional

      Another +1 for the "Recipient" vice "Winner" correction. I knew someone who received the CMH. I don't think of him as a winner when I send his widow a Christmas card.

      September 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tengli

    Are you guys stupid or do you just not really care?

    September 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JohnRJ08

    Time to award Richard Winters his long overdue Medal of Honor for his numerous acts of heroism during World War II, beginning when he and his company were dropped behind enemy lines on D-Day. Winters, who was featured on the HBO mini-series "Band of Brothers" is still alive and the only reason he wasn't awarded a MOH was due to a ridiculous rule limiting the number of MOH's that could be awarded in any one division.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • chuck

      Could not agree more, time to fix it NOW!!

      September 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Emilie

    I agree with Tengli. I knew a WWII Medal of Honor RECIPIENT. He deplored the mention to him or of him in articles as being a winner. He said, "I was just doing a soldier's job!"

    September 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. frank

    It does not say he "WON" it,that he will be decorated! Sounds like a little Jealousy going on here! You should be praising this young man, not crying about if he "WON" this Medal of Honor and Who should have earned one! You people are soo SCHMUCK!!!

    September 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simon

      The link on the main page referred to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta as a Medal of Honor Winner. While the article does not specifically say that he 'won' the award. That's the complaint people have. Name calling is unnecessary.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose

      Yo SCHMUCK, No one's crying, just correcting. Sleep well.

      September 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Antonio

    This Soldier deserves it. The citation is on par easily with those from the conflicts in the past. I once read the following quote from a General to a serviceman, "If you thought earning this was hard, it will be much harder to wear and live up to its legacy."

    September 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CM

    I am the great-niece of a Medal of Honor RECIPIENT, it is never referred to has something you won. I do not think there is to many military people who are trying to win this award, since it usually comes at a great cost to life. I would hope reporters for major news organizations would check their facts better.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SMS (Ret)

    From Vietnam thru to the first Gulf War, not once did I wake up and think to myself, "I think today I will go out and try to win one of those medals." I am proud of SSgt Giunta and glad that he is alive to receive this honor. And I would be willing to bet that he would rather not have the press announcing that he was the "winner" of this honor.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gary

    Psst, CNN. Ever hear of the AP Stylebook. On page 149 of my dog-eared 2007 copy, under the entry for Medal of Honor: The nation's highest military honor, awarded by Congress for risk of life in combat beyond the call of duty. Use Medal of Honor recipient or a synonym, but not winner. There is no Congressional Medal of Honor.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jack

    A person receives the Medal of Honor, it is not "won".

    September 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pamela Sellers

    Thank you for your comments. Please rest assured that the copy submitted for this page re: Staff Sergeant never said, nor implied that he'd won an award, rather that he'd been acknowledged for act of heroism. Thanks to those, as well, who mentioned other brave members of the military who deserve to be acknowledged.

    September 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Military

      Please understand that link on the CNN main page refers to "Medal of Honor Winner" - and just about all the comments you have received here refer to that link, not to the article itself. Acknowledged: the article itself (the "copy" to which you refer) doesn't use the term "winner." You're getting comments/complaints because the CNN main page (which far more members of the public are likely to see and believe to be correct) incorrectly uses the term. Correct the terminology in the link and you'll solve the problem.

      September 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rondo

    It's good to see the recipient actually get it in person, instead of a family member accepting it in his place.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Pamela Sellers

    Thank you again everyone for your patience. We have heard you and adjusted the front page appropriately.
    Your input is sincerely appreciated.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Kind of nice to know that CNN actually reads the comments. I feel bad for whoever has that job though, it's okay in this thread but it's terrifying vitriolic and scary elsewhere.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal_of_Honor_recipients
    I highly suggest reading through the lists.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tory

    Good job to this man for what he did. And its about time this country started to recognize the crazy things that happen to some of us service members. How ever I do know of people who did more than this even while wounded fatally and still saved multiple people. People who jump on grenades to save their fellow service members. Where is their Medal Of Honor?

    September 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
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