Officials Say Purple Heart Played No Part In Choosing Hunt For Heroes Veteran 6/12/13
June 12, 2013
Midland – A decorated war hero who was injured in the deadly Hunt For Heroes parade, is now accused of faking his story about receiving a purple heart. Authorities say Shane Ladner lied about receiving a Purple Heart medal. Ladner is charged with four counts of theft by deception, false swearing and giving a false statement to police.
The founder of Show Of Support says he continues to believe Ladner’s story when it comes to weather or not he has the Purple Heart, however regardless if he had the Purple Heart or not, he still would have chosen Ladner to be a part of the program.
“In Shane's case I believe Shane, number one we’re all innocent until proven guilty, but Shane has told me man to man that there is nothing to worry about and I believe that,” said Show of Support President and Founder Terry Johnson.
Johnson says Ladner was originally recommended by someone who was in their program previously, and when Show of Support looked over the two page application he qualified in every way.
“He met all the criteria that was in place all the recommendations that came in, that got him to our attention and a response from his battle buddies, he was a candidate to do what we wanted to do,” said Johnson.
As to Ladner’s story about receiving the Purple Heart while in Panama when he was in fact still in High School, Johnson says is a legitimate story and one used by many war veterans.
“You have under cover stuff going on in the private sector the civilian sector and you also have it going on in the military. Shane’s story is not unlike any other story that I’ve heard, and I’ve heard stories like Shanes, I’ve heard that story before from other folks so it’s not new,” said Johnson.
Ladner’s attorney, John Cook released a statement on behalf of Ladner saying, “When all of the information finally comes to light, plenty of people will owe Shane an apology.” The final paperwork should arrive in Georgia by the end of this week.
“I hope it’s bogus and like I say I think it’s 99.9 percent for sure knowing what I think I know it’s bogus,” said Johnson.
Johnson says of course if the allegations turn out to be true, he will be first in line to speak out against Ladner.