Rye Barcott’s It Happened On the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace (Bloomsbury, 341 pp., $26) is a well-told, uplifting story concentrating on the author’s pioneering work fighting violence, disease, and poverty in Kenya. Barcott, a former Marine who served in Iraq, Bosnia, and the Horn of Africa, was inspired to go Semper Fi by his father, a sociology professor who served as a platoon leader in the Third Marine Reconnaissance Battalion in Vietnam.
The senior Barcott also greatly influenced his son’s views about service beyond the military. His father, Rye Barcott writes, “believed that many militaries throughout history too often destroyed more than they protected. He thought American foreign policy was excessively militarized, and distrusted war-prone politicians who had never served a day in uniform.” The book’s website is www.ithappenedonthewaytowar.com