Wednesday, September 7, 2016

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot's Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview by Jason B. Ladd

I opened an e mail one day that stated the following:


Please let me know if you would be interested in receiving a copy and providing a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

How could I refuse a request like that?  Besides, being a Military Brat, not to mention living in Texas, a state that probably produces more Marines than all the other states combined, these sort of stories always hold a place in my heart. (My husband has just informed me that California produces the most marines, then Virginia; Texas is third but I don't believe it.)

Because I know that burgeoning authors are trying to sell their product, I went ahead and bought Jason's book for $2.99 on Kindle.

The following review is entirely my own opinion and I wish Jason professional success.

The downside of reading a Kindle is that I do not know how to turn back to specific pages to get my quotes or incidents correct; therefore this is going to be a generalized overview of the book with the intention of giving the reader as informed a review as possible.

One of the Few is a non fiction account of Ladd's  spiritual journey from growing up nonreligious, developing questions as to whether there is an afterlife and finally embracing Christianity.

Jason grew up in a Military family, met his wife in high school while stationed in Japan and became a Marine.  He eventually got accepted into flight school and became a Marine fighter pilot.

That right there is the stuff adventure stories are made of.  Anyone in the material world is thinking: "Hoo yah! Captain America in the flesh!"

Ladd was deployed to Iraq and there are plenty of good stories here that rival anything Marvel's comics come up with, the more so because it's true.  

However, Ladd wasn't satisfied with adventure and valor.  There was something else he yearned for and felt was missing in his life.  Risking life and limb brought the subject of death up more than once and Ladd began to wonder just what happened when a person died.

"'What do you think happens when we die?' Karry asked.

'I don't know.  Nothing?  Blackness?'"(From the book)

Why are any of us alive?  I remember once I called a fighter pilot a "flight jock" to his face as a joke.  His expression told me that he didn't think that term was appropriate or funny.  Probably because he was a family man (I taught his son piano) and a church goer.  I feel certain that Jason Ladd wouldn't appreciate the term either. (And I've never called anyone that again.)

Because "flight jock" has connotations that someone is "macho" and "permiscuous" and not a deep thinker.  Jason Ladd's book shows that he is none of the first two traits and all of the last trait.

Each chapter begins with a quote from a secular thinker as well as a Christian thinker.  The comparisons are challenging and interesting.  Here are a few quotations:

"I've begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons.  First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun."  George Carlin

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see by it, but because by it I see everything else."  C.S. Lewis

"We are survival machines-robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes."  Richard Dawkins

"It is the very act of self-sacrfice that demonstrates that there is something more noble than mere survival."  Ravi Zacharias

Ladd describes the training he receives to become a Marine and eventually a fighter pilot.  He sees many parallels between his earthly experiences with spiritual truths.  He lists a number but I will only list a couple:  

After challenging his Sergeant to a pugil stick match, he makes the comparison that we cannot pound people who oppose our world view but must "display a life of love and service to everyone you wish to reach."

He goes on to describe getting bloody boots because he focused only on his toes and not on his heels.  He makes the analogy that "some worldviews focus only on the possibilities ahead and fail to address the damage they may leave behind."  And when, during training, one is walking through the woods half asleep we sometimes need to "be jolted awake in order to ask important questions."

A lot of what Jason Ladd discovers I had already arrived at so some of his conclusions were not new to me, like discovering that our present social climate does not respect the Christian world view.  This can be a challenge when you are used to being respected every time you walk into a building wearing that flight suit.  Ladd proves, however, that authentic faith overrides any concern over society's opinion.

Ladd has obviously read the Bible in depth, judging from his  references to it and one chapter is devoted to the need to read the Bible over and over again.  He compares it to flight training:  "Study tactics, fly by the book, and repeat.  Read, fly, repeat.  Read the Bible, live by the Book, and repeat.  Read, live, repeat."

"...(Man's) origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms..."  Bertrand Russell

"A human being is a collection of atoms in the same way that Shakespeare's plays are collections of words, or Beethoven's symphonies are collections of notes."  Dinesh D'Souza

If you are interested in Military culture and how one man came to faith in Christ inside of that culture;  if you like to read modern war stories and how a fighter pilot comes to reconcile his worldly mission with his spiritual one, this is an excellent book and one I highly recommend reading.

Jason B. Ladd is an award-winning author, US Marine, and Iraq War veteran. Ladd served on active duty with the Marines for fourteen years and has flown as an instructor pilot in both the F/A-18 and the F-16 fighter jets. He is the founder of Boone Shepherd, LLC and creator of, the largest live online database of book promotions results built by authors. He and his wife, Karry, are the parents of five children.

His book One of the Few was awarded as Finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  (
From Amazon)

The following are links for further information on Jason and his books:


  1. Hi Sharon-

    This sounds very interesting. As you know I am interested in discussions over faith and related subjects. I think that you also know that I try to listen and be respectful to ideas that are contrary to my own.

    I might quibble a bit about Christian ideas not getting respect in our society. I would argue that the concepts of charity, forgiveness, self sacrifice, etc. have, happily, become embedded in our culture. Though I do not attribute all of this to Christianity, some of it seems to be rooted on Christian thought.

    The parts relating to Iraq and the military also sound worthwhile.

    1. Hi Brian! Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate how you make observations on books that probably you wouldn't normally read.

      Ladd is not saying that Christian ideas aren't respected. He's saying that Christians aren't respected.

      You are very respectful and I commend you for it, but as a Christian I probably am more aware of the overall attitude towards Christians than you are.

      On Television and movies, Christianity is treated like some crazy sect or made irrelevant.

      As an experiment, tell your friends or co workers that you are a Christian and see their reaction.

      Take care!

  2. Interesting review, Sharon. I'm not familiar with US military affairs, obviously, but I do like how he compared quotes. Books that contain either maps or quotes rate high in my estimation!

    1. Hi Carol! This is not a book that I normally read, but I found his testimony very interesting. I hope his book meets with a lot of success.


I welcome comments from anyone with a mutual interest in the subjects I written about.