Couple injured in Texas veterans parade return to Ga. - FOX 35 News Orlando

Couple injured in Texas veterans parade return to Ga.

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HOLLY SPRINGS, Ga. -

A Holly Springs police officer and his wife who were injured when the float they were riding on was struck by a train during a veterans parade in Texas on Thursday returned to Georgia on Monday.

Shane and Meg Stevens Ladner were among the 17 people injured in the Hunt for Heroes parade on Thursday afternoon in Midland, Texas. Four people were killed.

"Mind-boggling that he would be wounded in Panama and then go to an event honoring him for his service in the military and then be injured and his wife injured," said family friend David Mace.

Family friend Susan Greene says Shane Ladner's instincts as a soldier, protecting those around him kicked in -- pushing her out of the path of the train and possibly saving her life.

"Shane gave Meg a push and a lift to try to get her off the float. He himself then jumped, right as the impact occurred. He lost her in the chaos and when he found her, she was in the condition that she was in," said Greene, who said she's known Meg Ladner for 29 years.

Greene and Mace were at the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport to greet their friends when they arrived on Monday night. Shane limped off the plane with a cane; Meg was carried off on a stretcher.

"I got to touch her and kiss her forehead," said Greene.

Officer Ladner was treated for back injuries and released. Meg Ladner lost her left leg, and she is expected to be brought to Atlanta Medical Center to begin being treated by specialists for pelvic injuries.

"Now the real work begins. The reconstruction, the long months of rehab," said Green. "I just can't wait to sit and hold her hand and talk to her and tell her how much she is loved and how I'm so honored to be her friend."

Fellow officers and friends in Cherokee County said they were eagerly awaiting the Ladner's trip home.

"He's very upbeat at this point in time. He's just ready to get back home -- tremendously excited about coming back home," said Capt. Mike Carswell of the Holly Springs Police Department.

A spokesperson for the Home Depot Foundation says they are "working to help police officer and veteran Shane Ladner and his wife Meg modify their home to be more accessible. Team Depot, our associate volunteer corps, plan to visit the home today to determine the best way to assist the Ladners."

Friends are trying to make the Ladners' transition back to Georgia as smooth as possible. They are trying to raise money to fund modifications to their existing home and custom vehicle. A fund has been set up for them at the Cherokee Bank in Canton. For more information on how you can donate visit cherokeebank.com.  For more updates, visit a Facebook page set up by friends: www.facebook.com/PrayersForShaneAndMegLadner

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