TAH in the AJC on Ladner

| June 19, 2013

The Shane Ladner discussion goes on in the pages of the Atlanta Journal Constitution where reporter Bill Torpy sat down with the Ladners and their lawyer the other day. Shane & Co. are still clinging to the lie that he was awarded a Purple Heart for some secret squirrel operation in Central America;

Now, he and his lawyers say that was all a cover story. They say he actually was wounded by shrapnel during a classified drug interdiction action in Honduras in 1991.

Ladner entered the Army in 1990 and by December, records provided by his lawyers show, was in Honduras. Three months later, those records show, he was granted “top secret” classification. Another document with his name, a “classified information nondisclosure agreement,” says he can be charged criminally if he discloses such information.

“We cannot go into detail where he was or what happened when he was wounded; he cannot discuss this publicly,” said Cook. The lawyer then paused to anticipate the disbelief generated by the “can’t-tell-you” story. “Why is a kid fresh out of boot camp given top secret clearance? Because they are exposed to things not to be discussed in public. That’s the oath he took. He can’t even discuss these things with me.”

Ladner said the medal was lost when he sent it home from Central America. His lawyers also say they cannot find the citation that says he got one.

So the medal and all of the documentation has disappeared, but somehow it shows up on his DD214? It reminds me of the mysterious Bronze Star that magically appeared on Paul Rieckhoff’s DD214 which also didn’t have any supporting documents, but somehow the clerk knew to type it into his DD214, I guess using a Vulcan mind meld with the subject. The thing is that the NPRC can’t find the DD214 that Ladner is flashing around, but the VA has a copy;

We don’t sleep, we can’t eat, this just hangs over us,” said Ladner.

Ladner’s lawyers say they are still pushing to get records and have received many from both the Department of Defense and the Veterans Health Administration. The V.A. records included a copy of the newest DD214 denoting a Purple Heart but the DOD has not released that copy.

Well, yeah, the VA has a copy because Ladner gave it to them. When I filed my claim with the VA I had to give them both of my DD214s because they didn’t have one.

I spent some time with Torpy on the phone the other night and told him what you guys told me;

The report of possible fraud and later arrest has stoked widespread anger among many vets. An Internet site called “This Ain’t Hell” looks to “out” vets claiming medals they didn’t earn. Jonn Lilyea, who said he served in the Gulf War and who runs the site, said it’s implausible that a green soldier like Ladner would have been sent overseas for a covert operation. He said the anger will subside if “he and his lawyers come clean. But if they keep clinging to his story where will be no sympathy.”

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (81)

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  1. Virtual Insanity says:

    #32 USMCE8Ret

    I was on the Army Forces Staff in Honduras ’96-97. Although things had changed a bit between 1991 and then, one thing that I bet had not changed terribly was how the JSF (Joint Security Force, Army/AirForce) was used.

    ARFOR supported a number of different entities when they came into our AOR–mostly logistically. There was never a need under my watch to provide them with security, etc.

    I had a couple JSF members with me on one mission in the entire year; I took a bunch of old ammo and explosives across the mountain to be blown up, and the powers felt that three or four of us driving the trucks needed a few more guns. We protected ourselves outside the wire, generally.

    The JSF troops would do some accompaniment of bigwigs who came in to visit National Guard units doing Med Readiness Exercises from their states, construction projects, etc.

    Other than that, the JSF folks didn’t leave the Soto Cano fenceline on official business much–they had plenty to do keeping the Honduran soldiers from stealing us blind.

    Also, for what it’s worth, many of the folks assigned to JTF-B back in those days were there on a 179-day TDY. I was the first one in my position to be there for a full-year PCS tour. I simply can’t recall if that’s how it was for the JSF guys.

  2. USMCE8Ret says:

    @51 – I’m glad someone here has some insight. Mind you, I wasn’t suggesting Ladner was part of the JTF-8… just that if he was stationed down there for a stint, he was obviously full aware of the drug interdiction role – and due to his envy/jealousy, he may have concocted the story back then.

    As for the Jan 91 to Jan 92 dates, that’s merely based on the information posted elsewhere on him.

  3. Military Supporter says:

    Okay Green Thumb. I’m all for calling the Texas Bar Association and reporting this lying John cook. I called last week and you go on line . This guy is unbelievable -amazing that Ladner even has control over this dumb attorney and his wife.. Where are the Feds? Can’t believe they have not looked at this. It seems its too much for the local boys.

  4. Billy says:

    Here is an example of a good step: The Marine Corps has set up a Combat Action Ribbon database (which also contains Humanitarian Service awards).


    I know that this sort of thing is not easily available for the older gentlemen that predate the computerized records era, but it is example of what is possible. How hard would be for the USMC to just link to the entire Awards page in the MOL system?

    If you want hiring points with the Federal Government, or if a police force is looking at hiring you, they will have your SSN anyways. Go straight to the data and cut out the paperwork.

  5. Planet Ord says:

    @53, the Feds are not involved because he is up on two state felonies and several misdemeanors. The only federal charge he could get is misdemeanor forgery. Proving it would be tough, and not worth the Feds time.

    The locals seem to be doing a good job, IMO. He was arrested for serious charges, and stands a decent chance of getting convicted.

    Call the bar all you want, but until a jury decides at trial what the facts are in this case, you can’t prove what John cook is saying is a lie. He’s doing his job. It’s a difficult job, given the circumstances of the case, but it is his job to defend Ladner, whether you like what he says or not.

    Their strategy is the only one available. Delay the criminal case long enough for the civil case to be decided. Actually, I think that even though his application for the hunt was a lie, the hunt for heroes didn’t do their homework and accepted him anyway. With that acceptance, he was there legitimately. It’s definitely a matter that will be contested in the civil proceeding, though.

    IMO, it’s all moot. I think it’s the truck driver’s fault to begin with. The railroad will probably pay a small settlement out of court to make this all go away. That’s my opinion, there are lots of other factors in play, though.

  6. Planet Ord says:

    @6, I agree it’s about to get worse. I’m not familiar with the new SVA. I know there is a tangible benefit provision. I thought there was a clause that provided enhanced penalties for lying about the MOH, Purple Heart, silver star, etc. if indicted, and he’ll probably get indicted, he’ll need to take a plea quickly. If he lets it go to trial hell probably get time.

    It’s not applied retroactively, but if he sticks to his guns with his Honduras story and says that in court ans provides documents to support it, I think he can be charged after that with SVA.

    If he’s found guilty on the state charges, then the Feds will have an easy job of charging him with SVA and misdemeanor forgery. Whether they take the time to do that or not all depends on the local US attorney. I doubt they will touch it unless there is some political pressure.

  7. Planet Ord says:

    @15, I’ll guess his humanitarian service medal and one of his AAMs are his awards for his tour in Honduras. Those are appropriate for his rank and length of service at the time.

  8. MrGameandShow says:

    I been wondering all this time if his Wife was down for him lying and if she was angry that she lost her leg because of his lies. But seems like she is standing by her man through delusional lies. I guess there is no reason to feel sorry for her huh.

  9. Green Thumb says:


    My point.

  10. Hack.Stone says:

    Can anyone tell me why they are suing the railroad, other than the fact that they have deepest pockets? Couldn’t any of the idiots organizing read a train schedule?

  11. Planet Ord says:

    @60, deep pockets, I guess.

    The NTSB found the cross bucks were timed correctly for the train speeds, if i recall correctly. Seems like the driver shouldn’t have tried to cross the tracks unless he could clear them. I hate it for him. He seems like a good guy that made a terrible mistake, to put it lightly. He doesn’t have deep pockets either.

    @59, he always said he got his PH in Iraq. She dated him from before 2001. She would know if he went to Iraq or not. I think she knew.

    Then he told the hunt for heroes he got it panama. He told the local media he got one in 1993 in the Middle East. That would be from all of his Mogadishu claims. He never told them he got one in Iraq. She should have noticed those glaring inconsistencies.

  12. Military Supporter says:

    60 and 61 Right, the attorneys went for the deep pockets. Union Pacific. What about Show of Support? Don’t understand that group. No parade permits, no insurance, etc. But they can entertain the Ladners. Don’t sue us, you’re our friend, so sorry you lost your leg, here have a beer. Got them back to Midland a few weeks ago for another “party”. That woman must be brain dead. Paraded around for all to have pictures with the lady who lost her leg and is still with the lying POS who caused her injury. All of the lies….. she had to have known or just plain stupid. I have read she said “but, he’s an honorable man”. Yeah, Stupid.

  13. Combat Historian says:

    As mentioned by me previously, if Ladner would just admit to his bullshit, I would be happy to see him get a stiff fine and probation for his lies. But now that he has gone full retard and is doubling down on the BS, he needs to do hardtime in a “pound-me-in-the-ass” prison for this crap…

  14. Planet Ord says:

    @63, no kidding. His lawyer seems hell bent on taking it to trial. Restitution and probation will go away then. It’ll be time plus restitution and probation.


  15. USMCE8Ret says:

    @60 – I thought the same thing. I’m curious why Union Pacific didn’t put up more of a fight? It doesn’t make sense that the railroad seemed to have been operating properly, whereas the truck driver failed to pay attention to his driving the rig across the tracks in the first place. Mistakes happen – but IMO, blame the driver of the truck. That’s where the mistake was made.

  16. NHSparky says:

    @66–I just watched that story. If I didn’t want to throat punch that cocksucker before, I sure as hell do now.

    And his lawyer ain’t far behind, trying to smear Big Army. Ordering him to lie? Uh, horseshit.

    Finally, Mr. “Lawer” if you’re reading this–just because someone signed a non-disclosure agreement doesn’t mean he can’t say who he served with, dumbass. Nice try tho.

  17. JustTheFactsMa'am says:

    Wounded twice in combat?


    @66: Looks as if someone already took a punch at his lawyer’s eye.

  18. OWB says:

    Seems like when the guy is this deep in it that the only viable option he has (legally) is to stick to the lie. For now at least. Sure, we would be satisfied with a simple apology and his telling no more lies. However, he could well be admitting to all sorts of legal liabilities were he to do that.

    No, that doesn’t make it moral or ethical, but it may be the correct (legal) thing to do under the circumstances. The more time that they can buy, the more likely for witnesses and investigators to become unavailable to testify.

    It also occurs that he will have to give it up if this actually does go to trial. If he presents a forged DD214 as “evidence,” wouldn’t that subject him to the current SVA in addition to everything else? Might also apply at the VA, if anyone there was inclined to ask him to sign some new papers any day since the signing of the new SVA.

    I dunno. Some of our resident legal beagles can point out the fallacy of my thinking here. It just appears that the little license plate tax fraud charge could have far reaching negative consequences for him.

  19. beretverde says:

    Let Ladner take the stand during the trial and state that he was ordered to lie…fireworks galore! Did he ever lie before…ordered to or not? This clown is sick. Public shaming (like most SV cases) is not enough for some. They will go down in flames and bring themselves down and sometimes loved ones as well. More time and money spent on defending the indefensible. Delusional and sick at the same time. Maybe old fashioned barroom ass whippings are the answers.

  20. Military Supporter says:

    TO 70, amazing that he’s still claiming what an honorable man he is. Turned his wife against her entire family and in going down in flames he’s bringing her with him. That attorney, John Cook, or the handlers she has around her cares nothing for his wife’s well-being, only for the dollars his firm thinks her claim will bring them. Can you imagine any reputable attorney doing this. He is supposed ex-military and knows the ropes, but is blaming the government and changing the story as the wind blows. Really wish the F.B.I. would get involved and stop this circus.

  21. Military Supporter says:

    No. 66 I just watched the 11 Alive story you posted. Meg Ladner knows he’s lying. Look at her face when they mention 3 Purple Hearts, then 2 and her fraud husband holds up 2 fingers. She looks so afraid and does exactly what he tells her to do. He had his “friends” make her up to look like a clown and goes along with his circus, I guess. Looking at his limping to the get-a-away car is another laugh. Watching him trying to get in the car is hysterical. His wife can get in a car with one leg better than he can. I guess that’s because of all of his war injuries. Keep it up SHANE LADNER and it’s only going to get better for the people who are outing you…….. Love and hugsssssssssssssss

  22. Ex-PH2 says:

    Sorry, I can’t watch that lawyer run his mouth like that. He nauseates me.

    My uncle was an attorney, my cousin took over his dad’s practice after law school. Neither of them would take Ladner’s lying without investigating thoroughly.

  23. USMCBRIT1 says:

    Didn’t know if you folks had seen this or not:


    I’ll bet this won’t show as a link (wish I could figure this Apple figured out). Gist of story is he’s lost job and admitted no PHs.

  24. USMCBRIT1 says:

    Damn-it worked!

  25. JohnnyJ says:

    At 75 great article…check out the one with the Cherokee Ledger……very good and info on his prior work history….that is interesting as well. I pray his wife sees the light soon. Still praying for her healing through all his manure.

  26. Planet Ord says:

    Randy Travis, the reporter for Fox 5 in Atlanta has some interesting discussions about this on his Facebook page. I suggest you take a look and comment their is a lot of misinformation on there that veterans can clear up.

    Randy Travis originally broke the story.

  27. Military Supporter says:

    Who won the contest?

  28. Planet Ord says:

    It’s been delayed because of technical difficulties. He’s still in it.

  29. Military Supporter says:

    Just wondering. On June 19, 2013 Ladner’s attorney stated in the AJC they had the documents. Today in August 25, 2013 – WHERE ARE THE CORRECT DOCUMENTS? What is happening now. Has anyone seen his correct DD 214? The one that declares that he has one of the Purple Hearts he has been touting along with the certification. Show me the Purple Heart.

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