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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: Administrators weigh in on a smoking topic

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

They might have felt like Red Auerbach, the late Celtics legend, while puffing on those cigars. In the end, though, they were more red-faced than anything else. I’m talking about the two high school lacrosse players in Massachusetts …

Ray Duckler: Looking for something to do this summer? Don’t get boxed in

Sunday, June 8, 2014

About 45 years ago, a skinny kid from Salisbury drew a box with chalk on an outside wall of his grade school and threw a ball at it till the cows came home. “I wasn’t so structured about …

Ray Duckler: Tis the season to have fun, stay safe

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Andrew Beauregard admits that 10 years ago, when he crashed his scooter while drunk and nearly died, he thought he had a big red “S” on his chest and a red cape on his back. He was captain …

Ray Duckler: With Pope on hand, SPCA unveils its new facility

Friday, May 30, 2014

On the surface lies the stoic New Englander who’s close to the vest, doesn’t mince words and is modest, probably to a fault. Beneath, however, is someone with an extraordinary love for animals, plus the wallet to keep …

Ray Duckler: It’s time to bring Pembroke back into the fold

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pembroke Academy needs allies quickly, before basketball schedules are submitted sometime this summer. Anyone willing to extend an olive branch to this beleaguered program and play the Spartans next season? It’s time. Time to lay down your arms and declare peace, time to withdraw the boycott directed at …

Ray Duckler: Victoria Shouldis, the cat’s meow, paused to remember the SPCA

Monday, May 26, 2014

The SPCA is in good shape these days, thanks to the late Victoria Shouldis. So, in fact, is her cat, Casy. Both are the beneficiaries of a woman from Hillsboro who died of cancer three years ago, and …

Ray Duckler: There’s no place like home, but no one’s answering the door

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vicki McCloskey, a triathlete barely 5 feet tall, banged her open hand on the table for emphasis. Then she did it again, then again. She’s frustrated that her father, Donald McCloskey, who’s 89 and who saved lives on …

Ray Duckler: Brentwood officer Steve Arkell touched many

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jane Young, a veteran, hard-boiled law enforcement official, doesn’t let her guard down easily. Yesterday, though, she did. The state associate attorney general told the media that earlier in the day she’d been with the family of Brentwood …

Ray Duckler: Doctor, nurses recall Boston Marathon bombings

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One year ago today, an emergency broadcast at a Boston hospital on Charles Street crackled with chilling words. “Multiple victims. Code Red.” “We knew this was not a drill,” said Deb Trocchi, a registered nurse at Massachusetts Eye …

Ray Duckler: Couple to return to Boston after a marathon of indecision

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vicki Miller, approaching the Boston Marathon finish line a year ago today, ducked between two parked trucks and waited for a third explosion. Or, she wondered, maybe gunshots would be fired. She simply didn’t know. Her husband, Tom, two blocks away when the bombs detonated, said he felt …

Ray Duckler: Move over, Teddy; here comes Big Papi

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teddy Roosevelt once spoke at the State House, and he built the Panama Canal. Dwight Eisenhower spoke there, too, and he led the invasion of Nazi-controlled Europe during World War II. And now, add David Ortiz to that …

Ray Duckler: Merrimack Valley took pride in change; Will Belmont follow?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A light clicked on at Merrimack Valley High School 10 years ago, when the school changed its nickname from the Indians to the Pride. Will Belmont High School soon flip the switch, too? We’ll know more on April 16, when the school’s student council hosts an open forum …