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Fast Ends in 'Victory' for MIA Cause

November 20, 1986|MARCOS BRETON | Times Staff Writer

Thirty-three pounds lighter, Hawthorne resident Pat Carey ended her 29-day fast this week and claimed victory for her efforts to publicize the plight of missing American soldiers in Southeast Asia.

Carey had maintained her fast in a tent in Hawthorne Memorial Park, where she subsisted on water with lime juice.

In a telephone interview from her boyfriend's home in Ventura, Carey, 40, said she felt no lasting ill effects from her fast. She said she was heartened by an impromptu celebration thrown for her by about 100 friends and veterans who gathered at her tent Sunday when she ended the fast.

"As soon as I stopped, some friends went across the street to Burger King to get me the chicken sandwich I'd been craving for weeks. . . . Food is fantastic."

Carey, who went from 153 pounds to 120, said she was always in good spirits during her fast, but the physical stress was overwhelming at times.

"There was a lot of fatigue," she said.

A former rape crisis counselor, Carey had been going without food to support Vietnam veteran Gino Casanova, who was fasting in Washington, D.C. Even though both Casanova and Carey ended their fasts during the weekend--two weeks short of their Nov. 30 target date--the protests were a victory, said Hawthorne public information officer Tom Quintana, who is active in veterans affairs.

"A lot of interest about the missing soldiers was generated," he said.

In addition, President Reagan asked Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot to study the issue of MIAs, soldiers missing in action. The White House-approved involvement of Perot--who has long been active in MIA causes--was one of the demands of Carey and Casanova.

Besides resting, Carey said she had no immediate plans, although she said she intends to remain active in the MIA cause.

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