Heath Phillips, United States Navy
I joined the Navy at 17 yrs old. 5 days after my 17th birthday I was in boot camp. I went aboard the USS Butte AE27. Within the first weekend I was sexually attacked by a group of 6 men. I reported it to my command to be told I was a liar, and was homesick. The attacks became worse and my complaints were not helping. I decided to commit suicide and failed. My parent urged me to leave and come home. While home I had a Congressional Investigation done. Behold I didnt lie! 2 where caught and 1 was shipped away and 3 remained. Upon my return the sexual attacks became worse and like before fell on deaf ears. I kept going AWOL to avoid attacks and threats of death by being tossed off the fantail. I then was given the asked to chose between a Other than Honorable discharge or 6 months confinement to the ship. I got out! Now because I went AWOL I have been denied everything in the VA. They dont deny the attacks but justify the denial because I went AWOL to avoid being repeatedly gang raped.