D.C. Monument Carver On Hunger Strike For Fathers' Rights

The man responsible for a number of D.C. landmarks is on a hunger strike for better fathers' rights.

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Jeffrey DiMeglio carving.

As a Virginia-based stone carver, Jeffrey DiMeglio has carved stones at a number of landmarks in many of Washington's most hallowed locations, including the WWII Memorial, Supreme Court, and 9/11 cornerstone at the Pentagon.

Now, DeMeglio hopes to catch the attention of some of the important people who walk those halls.

For the last eight days, DiMeglio has been on a hunger strike to protest what he says is the country's lack of legal rights for fathers.

Eating nothing for a week but an apple and drinking skim milk in order to take aspirin, DiMeglio said he hopes to make a point about how crushing child support payments can be for fathers.

DiMeglio, whose two children live with his estranged wife, makes $29 an hour, but said he keeps only 28 percent of his income after child support payments. That amount, he said, isn't enough to live on or provide a good home for his children.

"We are fighting the calculator," DiMeglio told Whispers.

The stone carver says he also lost pay because he was forced to take time off for court appearances, including missed hours from a project: A reproduction of the Oval Office fireplace for Texas A&M University's George Bush presidential library.

"I'm on a hunger strike because I don't see what other option I have," DiMeglio said. "As fathers, we just want show our children that we can take care of them."

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at eflock@usnews.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.