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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: Wright knew what was right when it came to fire fighting

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dick Wright, modest and gentle, is 81 years old and lives alone in Loudon. His house, though, is filled with muffled voices, high-pitched beeps and static that crackles, just as it has for decades. The sounds are from …

Ray Duckler: Bond forged years ago draws NYC man back to his 'other' family in Concord

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Read the text, from a man who once raced down a dangerous road in life faster than a New York City cabbie, and you begin to understand. “If I ever become rich beyond my wildest dreams I’ll be …

Ray Duckler: Destigmatizing mental illness is no easy task

Friday, July 18, 2014

Debbie Dion’s ringtone – the song “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” – interrupted Thursday’s calm outside the New Hampshire State Hospital. So did the voice on the other end. Officials at the hospital had relayed concerns …

Ray Duckler: A family affair, exciting at the start, fades to sadness

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

At 3-0, Pedro Godoi, born and raised in Brazil, got off the couch, dragged aside the screen door and disappeared outside. At 6-0, Pedro’s 13-year-old son, Joao, pulled aside the other screen door, across the living room, and …

Ray Duckler: Conflict in Korean? Police action? It was war

Saturday, July 5, 2014

George Delorey’s eyes said more than the labels attached to the carnage in Korea during the 1950s. A conflict? A police action? Let’s stop the nonsense and identify truthfully what happened on that peninsula from 1950 to ’53: …

Lake Escapes: A short walk up Rattlesnake Mountain offers a high payoff

Monday, June 30, 2014

Normally, a great panoramic view involves a long, steep hike. Not so in Holderness, where a 2-mile walk on the Old Bridle Path leads to a rocky plateau atop West Rattlesnake Mountain. And down below, spread out like …

Ray Duckler: A quiet man creates a lot of noise

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Matt DeWitt is a man of few words, in a noisy world of war and patriotism. He lost both arms because of an improvised explosive device in Iraq 11 years ago, shortly after the first U.S. troops entered …

Ray Duckler: Sending a message, right to the end

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The bone in her foot, sore and needing surgery after walking the equivalent of 15 times across the country, never slowed Julie Richtarik down yesterday. Instead, the slender 54-year-old letter carrier with sandy blond hair and a smile …

Ray Duckler: Looking for a party with some kick? Tonight’s the night

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Have you gotten your invitation to tonight’s party, the biggest in the world? I know you’re invited. We all are. Appetizers are around 5:30 p.m., and the main course, the United States vs. Portugal, at 6. Delicious. Many of you are not hungry for the World Cup, even …

Ray Duckler: A walk, a stolen base and three championship trophies

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Boston’s three recent World Series trophies, displayed under a tent yesterday at Grappone Park in Concord, all looked the same. Upon closer inspection, however, the one on the left had “2004” inscribed on the bottom, and that represented …

Ray Duckler: Bike Week: A tamer time, sprinkled with yesteryear

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bike Week in Laconia, once edgy, weatherbeaten and rated R, features a softer, gentler side these days. Walk along Lakeside Avenue, into the teeth of the chrome and exhaust and leather, and you’ll find order, with heavy police …

Ray Duckler: Ken Braiterman, laid to rest, fought until the end

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ken Braiterman, who taught half of the state’s police about patience while dealing with the mentally ill, always seemed to be fighting, up through the day he died. He fought leaders at a Jewish summer camp, fought his …