WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA)-- Tom Mahany is a man with a mission. The 65-year- old is in Washington, D.C. from his hometown in Michigan staging a hunger strike in order to raise awareness about troop suicide.
The recent data put together by the Army is out, and according to the data, the number of soldier suicides have doubled. They're currently investigating 26 cases in July. The month prior, there were only 12.
Mahany said, "I'm doing this because it needs to be done. Somebody's got to fight this fire."
He is now on his 14th day straight without any food. He drinks only water to keep himself hydrated. He's hoping his actions to starve himself will get the attention of White House and military brass who can do something about the suicide issue.
Mahany described the current efforts in dealing with the issue by saying, "Instead of reaching out to them and pulling them to safety we are actually pushing them closer to the edge."
He wants the Obama administration to put together a federal advisory committee to look at the problem.
But in the meantime he's asking for support in de-stigmatizing the way society looks at mental health.
He added, "We need to change the name from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Injury."
Mahany has staged hunger strikes twice before for two different issues. He hopes this time the dialogue he has started with Washington officials will continue until a solution is found.