New Middletown, Ohio- Our colleague Scott from Military Phonies, sends us his work on another fake Beirut Survivor, Anthony Kolat Jr. Anthony did an interview with a local newspaper and told the horrors he faced one fateful day in 1983.
On October 23rd, 1983 two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces, members of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Lebanon, killing 299 American and French servicemen. An obscure group calling itself ‘Islamic Jihad’ claimed responsibility for the bombings.
Suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. In the attack on the building serving as a barracks for the 1st Battalion 8th Marines, the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three Soldiers, making this incident the deadliest single day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since World War II’s Battle of Iwo Jima, the deadliest single day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II. Another 128 Americans were wounded in the blast. Thirteen later died of their injuries, and they are numbered among the total number who died.
Anthony sat down at a local eatery with a reporter and told his story of being on the ground that day when the bombings happened. According to the article from Vindy.com:
Kolat was on one side of a compound in Beirut, Lebanon, during the early-morning hours of Oct. 23, 1983, when a suicidal truck bomber plowed into a four-story set of barracks nearby with the equivalent of six tons of dynamite. The blast killed 241 U.S. service members, 220 of whom were Marines, and prompted President Ronald Reagan to pull U.S. peacekeeping forces out of the country several months later.
Kolat, who was a combat engineer with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, recalled being on a bulldozer and hearing sirens shortly after seeing and hearing the explosion. A Condition Red, the highest-alert level, was issued, and “all hell broke loose,” he said.
“It was chaos. We couldn’t leave our bulldozers until we had the all-clear four hours later,” added Kolat, who arrived in Beirut in late September 1983 as part of a peacekeeping mission.
Kolat shared many recollections Wednesday at the Eat ’n’ Park Diner, South Avenue, Boardman. He also brought a Good Conduct certificate he was awarded, several photographs taken in Beirut after the bombing and various military artifacts that survived a fire at his residence shortly after he left the Marines in 1988.
In the aftermath of the attack on the barracks, military personnel sought volunteers for the grim task of searching for survivors. Kolat recalled hearing some of the injured yelling for their parents and other people.
Kolat said he received a Purple Heart for trying to find as many people as possible after the blast and ensuring no one was left behind.
Here are screenshots of the article if it gets removed:
So according to the article he spent 10 years as a Marine, served in Beirut with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 24th Marine Amphibious Unit as a Combat Engineer and received a Purple Heart for trying to find as many people as possible after the bombing.
Well that’s the first time I have ever seen a Purple Heart awarded for other than being wounded in combat! So of course his records were requested from Headquarters Marine Corps, even though we knew he wouldn’t have a Purple Heart.
His records revealed that he did serve in the Corps from February 11th, 1978 until February 10th, 1986 which is a total of 8 years not 10 and not all of that was Active. He was Active from August 22nd, 1978 until August 21st 1982 a total of four years. Kolat was released from active duty on 21 August 1982 and the Marines of the 32nd MAU landed in Beirut, Lebanon to help with the PLO evacuation on 25 August 1982. This was four days after Kolat was released from active duty and well over a year before the 23 Oct 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks.
So not only was he not in Beirut when the bombings happened, he was not awarded a Purple Heart, in fact according to his records he never left CONUS(Continental United States). In the article he also claims he is a member of VFW Post 2799 in New Springfield, according to VFW eligibility requirements: “If you have received a campaign medal for overseas service; have served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea; or have ever received hostile fire or imminent danger pay, then you’re eligible to join our ranks.”, he is not eligible. He didn’t serve in any combat area, nor has he received any campaign medal for overseas service. Which makes me wonder how he joined, and what he submitted as proof?
Below are his official Marine Corps records:
Kolat is the second fake Beirut Veteran uncovered, and both people who were outed served honorable careers only to blemish that record by publicly lying about their service. Actual Beirut Veterans don’t take kindly to those claiming they were present on that fateful day when they weren’t! Hopefully the newspaper that printed this article will print a retraction and apology to the actual Beirut Vets and the families of those lost that day.