Institute for Public Accuracy
980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * *

Veteran Fasting Outside White House

     Mahany, a Vietnam War veteran (101st Airborne Division), now a 
stonemason and artist from Michigan, has been fasting in front of the 
White House since Veterans Day. He sent Obama the following letter the 
day after Veterans Day:

Dear Mr. President,

     In May of 1970 I spent 29 days in Lafayette Square fasting for 
Peace in Viet Nam. I now feel that [it] is time to act once again. 
Accordingly, as of 0600 Hours, Nov 11, Veterans Day 2009, I have taken 
my last material sustenance other than water until specific action is 
taken by your Administration and our Military to stem the tragic and 
ever-increasing rise in the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 
which is rapidly approaching epidemic proportions among our Fighting Men 
and Women.

     I served in Viet Nam and I also lost a brother-in law to suicide 
caused by PTSD. He had two young sons. I have seen firsthand what this 
can do to a family.

     In taking my action, I hope to elicit for you, from the peace 
loving people of this nation, moral support sufficient to spiritually 
bolster you as you make your decision concerning our military presence 
in Afghanistan.

     Mr. President, please end this needless, incessant war making. We 
have long ago surpassed humanely reasonable demand exacted upon the 
fruit of our middle class as well as wrought excessive death and 
destruction on unwitting civilians in foreign lands. Let us now tone 
down the hatred and stop the violence that has engulfed our society.

     I beg you in the words of Abraham Lincoln; please do not yield to 
the "peculiar and powerful interests.... With malice toward none; with 
charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the 
right,...let us strive on to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for 
him who shall have borne the battle ... to do all which may achieve and 
cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all 
nations.... The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every 
battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart ... will yet swell 
the chorus ... when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better 
angels of our nature."

     Sir, I pray you find the strength to make the honorable choice and 
the courage to implement it.

     Withdraw our military men and women from the Middle East now. Take 
them away from the ordeal of continually dealing with the relentless and 
senseless mortality which surrounds them. Deal with the cause, not just 
the effect.

     Again, I am resolved to partake of no food until some concrete 
positive action on your part has come to pass. During this time I shall, 
if allowed, keep myself available to the public in Lafayette Square 
across from the White House.


Thomas E. Mahany

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167