Vietnam Veteran Lost Marine Brother to Suicide, Begins Protest at White House to Halt Suicide Epidemic

Vet on Hunger Strike to Spur Action on Suicides

by Patricia Kime
Military Times, Aug. 24, 2012

A 65-year-old Army veteran is on his sixth day of a hunger strike in Washington, D.C., to push for White House action to address the rising tide of suicides in the military.

Tom Mahany

Tom Mahany, a former West Point cadet who served as a specialist second class in Vietnam in 1969, wants the Obama administration to create a federal advisory committee to address troops’ mental and physical health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and depression, which can contribute to suicide.

Such a committee, Mahany argues, would pull together the many disparate groups and task forces within the government now working on the subject.

“There are 24 different groups working on this — it’s like 24,000 people all talking at once. But what are they actually doing? They are still compiling information, not doing,” he said from his bench in Lafayette Square, across from the White House.

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