Jason B. Ladd grows up in a military family with loving parents but spends his young life filled with spiritual apathy.
Ladd enters the US Marine Corps, becomes a fighter pilot, and sees combat in Iraq before life events align to nudge him into profound spiritual inquiry. Digging deep into his quest for truth, he realizes the art and science of fighter pilot fundamentals can help him on his journey.
Filled with stories that contrast his spiritual apathy with his post-Christian worldview passion, One of the Few is the compelling life story of a spiritual seeker engaged in a thrilling profession combined with a strong, reasonable defense of Christianity.
For fans of Ravi Zacharias, Lee Strobel, and Frank Turek, Ladd’s remarkable journey shares the transformative power of faith during a time when belief in God is dismissed and religious liberty in the military is attacked.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason B. Ladd is an award-winning author, US Marine, and Iraq War veteran. Ladd has flown as an instructor pilot in both the F/A-18 and the F-16 fighter jets.
He and his wife, Karry, are the parents of five children.
EXCERPT (CHAPTER 1)
Chapter 1 — The Worst Day
“…it is faith that keeps the whole terrible edifice of religious certainty still looming dangerously over our world.”
“Keep your protection of your wife strong and know in your hearts our Lord will carry you through whatever happens.”
“This is a horrible, dreadful day. No good news at all.”
The words came after a quiet entrance with little eye contact. The dimly-lit ultrasound room had already grown old since we entered it over an hour prior. The time between the technician’s departure and the doctor’s arrival was enough to worry ourselves to death.
The doctor extended his hand to my father-in-law and asked his last name. He assumed I was the husband. The doctor was dressed in a purple shirt with a plaid design mixed with grey, split by a paisley tie of purple swirls and flowers. His hair was grey and slightly waved, moving from front to back, slightly rising to form an almost-pyramidal cap to an overall solid structure. On his left hand, a gold ring, a black ring with silver trim on his right. I stared at his face, but my thoughts were already somewhere else.
My wife Karry remained sitting on the examining table. I stood beside her, holding her hand. This is where we would all cry.
For ten years I had been developing my faith in Christ. And in ten years it had never been tested. Karry and I had five beautiful children and a strong marriage. Life was so good, we wondered why we had been so fortunate.
“Aren’t you afraid that one day the bottom is going to drop?” Karry would ask.
“No,” I would say. “That’s not going to happen.”
But the bottom was slowly dropping.
Our doctor began listing all the indicators seen on the pictures from the ultrasound: too much amniotic fluid, bone measurements indicating stunted growth, a heart defect, and perhaps the most recognizable indicator for a possible chromosomal anomaly, clinched hands.
The first indications were good. The shape and form of our 27-week baby was clearly seen. His spine looked straight, his legs and arms looked normal. He even granted us a clear picture of his nose and mouth, indicating no cleft lip or palate. His brain looked normal and free of excess fluid. She pointed to all his parts, calling them by name. His kidneys appeared normal.
Then they were looking bad.
A cyst on the umbilical cord was easy to see. Shaped like a circle and appearing black on the screen, it would become the least of our worries. The umbilical cord is supposed to have three vessels. Our baby’s cord appeared to be missing one. Too much amniotic fluid dampened the feel of every kick and indicated a possible problem with the baby’s ability to swallow. The technician spent a long time on his heart. I guessed that she was searching for any way to tell us it was normal. But in the end, she couldn’t.
Karry often confessed an ominous feeling about the pregnancy. Now it was all coming true.
“I suspect your baby has a chromosomal condition known as Trisomy 18,” the doctor informed us.
Also called Edwards syndrome and referred to as a “lethal fetal condition” in the medical community, it has a grim prognosis.
What do we do? What should we do?
Before our baby was born, we began preparing for him to die.
Oh my God. This is it.