07/01/2018 by militaryphonies
“Frankly, it was such a bad experience that I would prefer to
forget that I ever enlisted.” — Mike Border
Michael Deon Border comes to us from Omaha, NE but just before that lived in Richland, MO. He is 54 years old as of July 2018.
People that know and are close to Mike are under the strong impression that he was in the US Army and was wounded in Beirut, Lebanon in the 1980s. He also claimed that his best friend was killed in Beirut. One person got curious about his stories and contacted a website that lists the casualties, with his friend not being listed.
What follows is a paraphrased version of the conversation by someone close to Mike Border and someone that works with the history of Beirut and maintains the casualty lists.
NOTE: To avoid confusion and make it easier to follow the conversation, we will label the person close to Mike Border as “MB Friend” and the person that runs the Beirut website and deals with the history as “Beirut Dude.” Mike Border’s relationship to “MB Friend” is not relevant, other than that they are close. Any references will be replaced with “Mike Border” and annotated as such.
After an initial inquiry if the Beirut website is still active and up to date, “MB Friend” gave an explanation…
“Beirut Dude” responded by asking a few questions, namely “When did he lose his whole platoon?” “Do you recall the date?” and “What unit was he with?”
It’s a difficult subject, especially in light of him saying “I had to kill people.”
Later, through some mild inquiry, it was discovered that this individual was not the only one that Mike has told this story to.
“Beirut Dude” then responded, breaking it to “MB Friend” that the entire story sounded suspect based on Michael Border or his friend by name, or his platoon buddies, in general, were not on any WIA or KIA casualty lists. It was pointed out that not many Army personnel were in Beirut other than to man specialty radar equipment, Embassy guards, and perhaps dog handlers but the dog handlers were mostly US Air Force. “Beirut Dude” offered to speak with Mike Border in order to clear things up or pinpoint the exact date he was speaking of.
In any case, “MB Friend” insisted that Mike Border’s story was true…
“Beirut Dude” said that he appreciated the candor “MB Friend,” stated that he had nothing to gain by misleading “MB Friend,” and said he appreciated the fact that “MB Friend” has probably grown comfortable with the story over the years.
Then, “Beirut Dude” volunteered a few resources and suggested that “MB Friend” look into them to confirm first hand. “Beirut Dude” also said that the story about a saucier from New Orleans was in the movie “Apocalypse Now.” The movie character was a French Cajun and ask if there was perhaps a coincidence.
“MB Friend” again insisted that Mike Border’s story was true, this time hinting at either poor government record keeping or skillful government coverup…
“Beirut Dude” said to assume the story is correct for a second – that the suggestion is true that Mike Border was on a mission that nobody knew about nor was recorded, were all wiped out all but the central figure in this story, which cannot be verified except rationale given by the storyteller – namely that it was a huge coverup by the government and they’ve hidden all trace of the event.
Assuming all this is true, “Beirut Dude” went on to say…
“Let’s consider that for a second. How come no family members have come forward and complained that their son or husband’s death was not acknowledged? Not a single one? Did they get paid off by the government? If so, that means that they placed money above their son or husband’s death. Did [Mike Border] get paid off to keep quiet, or did the US Government just take a chance that he would remain quiet, so upset by events that he dare not talk about it? Or did the US Government just factor in loyalty and secrecy and expect him to honor an oath of secrecy for the super-covert nature of the mission?”
“Beirut Dude” went on to detail the research that has been done with talking with Beirut Veterans and family members, the years of combing over daily newspaper articles to cover events on a day to day basis and finding no reference to this massacre in early 1984.
Further, “Beirut Dude” pointed out that the ONLY Army personnel that was in Beirut were the FASTAB guys, embassy security guys and some scattered intel guys not directly associated with the MNF. There may have been some dog handlers but he believed that was Air Force personnel.
“Beirut Dude” stated that he would love to see the DD-214 that shows that Mike Border was in Beirut. It should also show his Purple Heart if he was wounded.
There was no further response from “MB Friend” at this time.
It was at this point that Michael Border’s military records were ordered via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
. . . . .
The FOIA results show conclusively that it was difficult for Mike Border to be in Beirut, Lebanon at the time of the bombing on 23 Oct 1983, or even soon after.
In addition, the National Archives were systematically searched for a casualty by the name of “Lucien Saucier” but nobody under this name could be found for the entire US mission in Lebanon, let alone the date range that Michael was speaking about.
Newspaper articles were again scanned looking for a platoon of Army soldiers that were massacred in Beirut, Lebanon. No luck finding such a story in the newspapers.
. . . . .
DISCUSSION & SUMMARY
The military records do not support Michael Border’s claim of being in Beirut for the following reasons:
- Michael Border started active duty a mere two weeks before the bombing on 23 Oct 1983. Boot camp alone would have kept him in the states well into Nov if not Dec. Then, there is usually advanced training, in his case Military Police. Add more time for that. Many also get leave either after boot camp, after advanced training, or both. They can, of course, elect to not take leave, but even if that was the case he would not have had the training necessary in his MOS before the turn of the year.
- Seeing as how there was an anticipated withdrawal in Beirut at that time, it would have been highly unlikely that they would have sent an inexperienced low-ranking Army soldier (E-1) on a fast track to Beirut, Lebanon.
- Michael Border has no military assignment listed that would indicate he was in Beirut, Lebanon.
- Michael Border has no award that would indicate deployment, combat, or wounds received from combat (i.e. Purple Heart).
The summary of his records points to other things as well. The less than two-year enlistment suggests either a medical (illness or non-combat injury) discharge, an administrative hardship discharge (family emergency where he is needed at home to function as long-term patriarch), or disciplinary issues (let go for either fraudulent enlistment or problems while he was on active duty, or civilian criminal behavior). I believe it was one of these things. There is the possibility of a two-year active duty enlistment and an ongoing drilling Reserve obligation, but the records do not mention that and they don’t just do two-year enlistments on active duty.
Then, there is the matter of the discharge as an E-2. This is only one enlisted grade above the lowest at E-1. Without a hitch, most can achieve E-2 in six months and E-3 within a year.
The less than two-year enlistment combined with the discharge as an E-2 both suggest the disciplinary issue as hinted at above. Border could have been stuck at the rank of E-2 or made a higher rank but then busted down to E-2 before getting out of the service.
The military records and the analysis of them were forwarded to “MB Friend.”
OFFICIAL RECORDS vs. “THE STORY”
The FOIA results were sent to “MB Friend” with an interpretation of them.
“MB Friend” conceded that Mike Border was lying, but asked to handle it.
This was agreed to with the stipulation that Mike Border speak to “Beirut Dude” directly to fulfill two important criteria:
- Mike Border admits in writing or on the phone that he was not telling the truth about his supposed experiences in Beirut. Namely, that he was not wounded, he did not lose a friend named “Lucien Saucier” and he was never in Beirut, Lebanon.
- Mike Border states that he will commit to never telling these stories again.
Mike Border responded directly…
When the situation called for precise clarity, it appears that Michael Border chose instead to be ambiguous and provide himself some wiggle room in order to stick with his original story. There is also no hint of remorse. That’s the way we read his response.
We suspect that his “bad experience” may have referred to his time as a soldier and perhaps disciplinary issues that he struggled with. Who knows? It came across as double-speak.
But, people can decide for themselves.
At this point, “Beirut Dude” turned the case over to Military Phony. Needless to say, Michael Deon Border did not make it to a Beirut WIA casualty list that “Beirut Dude” maintains.
However, maybe Border would want to provide the DD-214 that he claims shows both his deployment to Beirut as well as a documented Purple Heart that he should have received from wounds in combat.
Then again, maybe the government covered it all up?
. . . . .
Many of the claims attributed to Michael Border were not supported by his official military records.
In spite of his claims to the contrary, if Mike Border has used any of these claims to gain anything of value, including money, work positions, or medical benefits from the government it could put him in direct violation of the Stolen Valor Act.
There was also a claim that he has difficulty talking about all of this. If this is a suggestion of PTSD, it begs the question – What would he have gotten PTSD from, or terrible memories that make it difficult to recall an incident without distress?
Also, he has a claim that “I had to kill people.” Which people did he have to kill? He was stateside according to his military records.
His records do not support him in a war or military conflict.
. . . . .
. . . . .
BUT WAIT… THERE’S MORE
“MB Friend” gave one last parting shot to “Beirut Dude.” It wasn’t a thank you for all the work that he does but they’d like Mike’s best friend Lucian Saucier to be carried as a Killed in Action so that Saucier can take his rightful place in history alongside others.
It also wasn’t a request to have Mike Border be listed as Wounded in Action allowing him to also take his rightful place in history.
Perhaps it was a thank you for all the extra work that was put in on behalf of Michael Border merely to address “MB Friend’s” skepticism that something got misssed.
So, it seems like “MB Friend” has reversed position. Decades worth of research and interviews, along with compilations of newspaper accounts and documentaries – it all has to be flawed because Michael Border in “MB Friend’s” view can’t possibly be lying about his exploits in Beirut and the US Government coverup that took place afterward.
Time will tell. Perhaps people will come forward and tell stories about a “ghost platoon” of Army guys that got slaughtered in Beirut… all except for one man. He lives on and struggles with the painful memories that come along with it.
As “MB Friend” said in an earlier email – “Did it ever occur to you that a whole platoon of men were simply forgotten, erased from the books?“
The imagination can be a powerful thing.
BUT WAIT… THERE’S STILL EVEN MORE
Mike Border decided to give one last parting shot to “Beirut Dude.”
ONE LAST EMAIL
Mike Border sent another email to “Beirut Dude.”
This Ain’t Hell: https://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=80267