Burton walked the walk
Recently deceased Executive Councilor Ray Burton was one of those rare politicians who truly “walked the walk” when it came to serving his constituents. Residents living outside the North Country probably don’t know much about Councilor Burton, but members of the New Hampshire Army National Guard serving in Plymouth, Littleton, Woodsville, Lancaster and Berlin knew Ray very well.
He was the only political figure in the state who made it his mission to visit his soldiers every year during their annual training exercises. It was my honor for five years to escort Ray on his annual pilgrimage to visit his troops in the field. One particular visit stands out, as he flew into a Canadian training site during inclement weather. Ray was asked if he would prefer to remain in the command center to talk with guard leaders, or venture to the field in freezing temperatures, sleet, and snow to bring his personal greeting to his beloved soldiers. Ray did not hesitate. We spent the entire day traveling to every unit in the battalion, spending time with every group of soldiers we were able to locate. This is the kind of leadership soldiers truly respect.
Ray Burton was one of a kind who will be sorely missed in the Executive Council, by his North Country constituents and by his many friends in the New Hampshire National Guard.