Michael Ford had always been fascinated by his Eastern European roots, so when he became a diplomat in 2010 and was assigned to Chernarus, he couldn't be more excited. His personal involvement in Chernorussian economic recovery projects following the civil war catapulted him up the State Department's ranks quickly and he was a senior officer at the small Chernogorsk consulate in no time.
As the events of 2017 started to unfold, operations gradually subsided at the consulate as the US started to withdraw diplomatic assets. Despite this, it was business as usual for Michael and he was still directing diplomatic operations with his dwindling staff.
On the 8th of July, following the incident on the 7th and anticipating an intensification of conflict in the area, State finally withdrew all diplomatic ties with Chernarus and Michael and his staff immediately started closing the consulate. By the early hours of the 9th of July most of the work was done and many of the consulate workers were flying out in an American C130-J with the materials intended for return to the USA. Michael stayed back with his senior colleagues and a small detachment of the guard staff to personally oversee the destruction of sensitive documents not intended for return to America, but which they did not trust local workers to keep from slipping into Russian hands.
By the time Michael and the remaining staff were done overseeing the work full scale riots had erupted in Chernogorsk. Fearing for their safety they commandeered a local fishing vessel they quickly stocked with the food and water from the consulate, and anchored a few kilometers off the coast. They attempted to make radio contact with nearby NATO warships and finally were able to make contact with an American vessel. The crew refused to allow the men to board, citing the "quarantine zone" and radio contact was soon lost. With supplies almost gone and conditions at sea worsening, the confused and incredulous crew returned to the Chernogorsk docks to gather more supplies and wait out the coming storm.
Michael returned to his small apartment in Chernogorsk to find it had been raided by rioting locals. Seeking food, he went to the supermarket and found locals looting that too, and so helped himself to what food supplies he could fit in his small backpack. It wasn't until later that night he finally returned to the docks, only to discover the fishing boat was nowhere to be found.
Having lost contact with all of his comrades, Michael hunkered down in his apartment with the food supplies he had taken. He finally felt safe to leave several weeks later, and by then the Chernarus that greeted him was an empty shell of what it once was. He ventured out increasingly greater distances to support his subsistence existence. Eventually, he determined that there was little left for him in Chernogorsk and decided to face the Chernarussian countryside, hopeful that at some point he would be able to find a means to leave Chernarus and return to his home.