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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: Jumping into a new phase in life

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spencer Reed, emotionally guarded most of his life, landed Friday with the eyes of a child who’d just gotten a puppy. He turned 90 on Thursday, but his seven children are enjoying his rebirth lately, a face-lift of …

Ray Duckler: Remembering how we got here, and where we might be going

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mike Pelletier gave the Iraqi children backpacks filled with chalk, pencils and paper. The children, in turn, gave Pelletier hope. He said yesterday he could see the appreciation in their eyes 10 years ago while serving in the …

Ray Duckler: Revisiting the past will shape the future

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The war on terror is back. Back in our minds. The voters’ minds. It’s no longer just jobs and the economy and immigration. Not since a group of Sunni extremists, once known as ISIS, now widely referred to as the Islamic State, began killing people in Syria. Not …

Ray Duckler: No day at the beach for honeymooners

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ryan Beauchesne called it the typical “I’m drowning move,” meaning he heard a boy scream “help,” then saw only a hand above the water’s surface. Moments later, the 28-year-old Concord High graduate was swimming in the cold bay …

Ray Duckler: The war on terror hits home hard

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The violence in Syria and Iraq hit close to home, in our own backyards. While the Islamic State says it wants to raise its black flag in the White House, the militant group’s brutality forced us to lower …

Ray Duckler: Labor of love as Market Basket employees celebrate holiday

Monday, September 1, 2014

Today is Labor Day, celebrated the first Monday each September. And thanks to a New England-based grocery store chain, the last Wednesday each August should also be declared Labor Day, a different one of sorts. At least around …

Ray Duckler: ‘A long battle’ for treatment

Sunday, August 31, 2014

To Katherine Drouin and her supporters, none of this makes sense. Forget the drawn-out process of getting lab work and a psychiatric evaluation, tests needed before Drouin could receive treatment for her eating disorder. Forget the lack of …

Ray Duckler: Time to pay back Beanie for all she’s done

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Things got done on a recent afternoon on Clinton Street in Concord. All in the name of Beanie. “Melanie and Paul will be cooking hot dogs and hamburgers.” “Don’t worry about posts for the fencing.” “Saturday night I’ll …

Ray Duckler: Birth of a legend, while patrolling the streets

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Charles Lapierre’s strong-yet-gentle hands touched many lives around here. And that included the lives of newborn babies. That’s one of the stories you’ll hear about Lapierre, who died earlier this month at the age of 100. It’s the …

Ray Duckler: A meeting of the minds for Pembroke? Maybe

Thursday, August 7, 2014

With the speed of a poorly run half-court offense, it appears that, finally, a dispute involving the Pembroke Academy boys’ basketball team might be nearing an end. Optimism emerged from a meeting held yesterday at Southern New Hampshire …

Ray Duckler: Witnessing a mother’s sorrow at a very private moment

Monday, August 4, 2014

The car rolled downhill on the narrow cemetery road in Concord, an innocuous part of a peaceful landscape. Debbie Sargent had no reason to think someone, a Jehovah’s Witness, had targeted her on a visit to see her …

Ray Duckler: Burned out after being burned out, couple try to cope

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Once all their possessions had burned to a crisp last month, John and Lisa Masse really got hot. Since that day June 10, when their home in Boscawen went up like charcoal-soaked lighter fluid, the path to normalcy …