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Vietnam War vet fasts for peace

A Vietnam War veteran is starving himself for peace in Washington DC, right in front of the White House, in a bid to save the lives of American servicemen in Afghanistan.

The year 2009 has seen an escalation of violence in Afghanistan. In many areas, coalition forces are now struggling to keep a resurgent Taliban at bay. And with this, calls for an end to the war are growing louder.

In May of 1970, war protestor Thomas Mahany spent 29 days here in Lafayette Square fasting for peace in Vietnam.

He’s currently repeating his activism. "As of 06:00 hours, November 11, Veterans Day 2009, I have taken my last material sustenance other than water,” says Mahany.

This is a pretty drastic step to take in a drastic situation, Thomas Mahany says, and what he wants to stop is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder found in many in the military. The way to stop PTSD is to “… please end this needless, incessant war making.”

Thomas Mahany wants his message to hit home in the White House.

His mind has been slowed by hunger, his speech slurred by zero energy – they are sensations the Vietnam War vet has felt before, when he starved for peace back then.

“I now feel that it is time to act once again,” states Thomas Mahany.

It is believed that more than 30 days without eating could cause a human being to have serious health problems, which Mahany has come close to before, and he may go without eating for a long time yet.