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Ray Duckler
Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Munson III shakes the hand of Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joe Ducey (far right) as he gets a standing ovation from the Detachment 18 crew members. The New Hampshire Army National Guard hosted a deployment ceremony for Detachment 18, Operational Support Airlift on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the Army Aviation Support Facility on Regional Drive in Concord. 
(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: The guard is on the move again. Anyone listening?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

If you want to upset Brig. Gen. Craig Bennett, disrespect the men and women under his command in the New Hampshire Army National Guard. Go ahead, raise your eyebrows in shock upon hearing the Guard is still needed in the Middle East. Go ahead, wonder aloud why these volunteers continue to sacrifice, while we work and play and spend time …

Ray Duckler: Bob Ryan never met a sport he didn’t like

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I had a preconceived notion about Bob Ryan, the Boston Globe sports columnist who will sign his new book, Scribe: My Life in Sports, on Tuesday at Gibson’s Bookstore. Ryan, I figured, was the kind of guy who went to ballgames when he wasn’t working; who could dig up an old column or …

Ray Duckler: In a one-shot deal, Magdziarz finally gets his prize

Friday, October 24, 2014

The woods, Stanley Magdziarz says, insulate him from life’s harsh terms. There, he’s able to put aside his sadness, caused by family tragedies, feeling safe, fulfilled, at peace. And there, in the woods of Berlin last Sunday, after waiting 26 years for the right to go moose hunting, after successfully killing a few …

Ray Duckler: A tragedy in Boston hits home here

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Phil Tirrell pulled the bill of his hat down to hide his tears. Already emotionally vulnerable after the deaths of two Boston firefighters, he choked up over childhood memories of his father, the longtime fire chief in Lempster. …

Ray Duckler: Laura Zerra of Belmont steals show on Discovery’s ‘Naked and Afraid’

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Think you’re tough? Think you possess an adventurous spirit? Well, you’re not, and you don’t. Not compared with Laura Zerra, whose home address is Earth, but whose mind-set is out of this world. For our purposes, she lives …

Ray Duckler: Let Pembroke's Pat Welch be an example: Choose your words carefully

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

For the past few years, Pat Welch, a star basketball player at Pembroke Academy, has been giving tips to young players eager to learn from the best. And now, after officials stripped him of an award and banned …

Ray Duckler: Selecting a woman who doesn’t fit the mold

Friday, March 21, 2014

A new light is shining in Andover: a 21-year-old selectwoman who has nothing in common with the town’s old guard. Her name is Sophie Viandier, and she once hitchhiked across New Zealand, fell in love there and lived …

Ray Duckler: Chomping at the bit, Bonner sees a national title for Florida Gators

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In a major scoop you’ll get here and nowhere else, Matt Bonner predicts the University of Florida will win the NCAA championship. Okay, it’s not stunning news, since Bonner played ball at Florida, competing in four-straight NCAA tournaments …

Ray Duckler: Continuing a tradition, towns meet to decide future

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Three years ago, Mark Sisti switched on the town meeting spotlight and aimed it directly at me. I didn’t throw in my two cents on the purchase of a fire truck, but I experienced what many of you have felt through the years, and the unique institution continues …

Ray Duckler: Henniker voters have no vote of confidence

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tina and Tom Roe won’t be at the Henniker Community School gym today voting in their local election. They were not allowed to vote in 2010, they say, even though they lived in Henniker, at the Rock ‘N’ …

Ray Duckler: Time to spring ahead and melt away the past

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The man who plays guitar for a living feels it. So do several women yearning for colorful clothing, and a pair of men preparing for the upcoming youth baseball season. Do you feel it? Do you feel that spring has sprung, that the frigid temps and silver-dollar-sized snowflakes …

Ray Duckler: Driving around, looking for the hole story

Friday, March 7, 2014

The roads around here are a pain in the butt. They dip and rise like gas prices, spilling coffee and knocking GPS devices off dashboards and windshields. Have you driven on Minot Street, between Pleasant and School streets, …

Ray Duckler: Sarah Thompson chronicles her pain and pleasure

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Three years in, Sarah Thompson’s blog about her fight with leukemia says it all. She documents what she feels, the ironic sense of liberation, her heightened appreciation for simplicity and, of course, her fears, all rolled into one. …

Ray Duckler: For Dale Earnhardt Jr., it’s about time

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Okay, so what does Dale Earnhardt Jr. do for an encore? He needs an encore, I think, to complete the picture. In fact, he needs to win the championship, and he’s off to a good start. Winning the …

Ray Duckler: In Henniker, cloudy times on a sunny day

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Like any family-oriented community, residents at the Rock ’N’ Birch Campground in Henniker enjoyed last Thursday’s warmer weather. Parents walked their dogs, kids in tow. They chatted with neighbors on snow-covered street corners. They shoveled snow off their …