A Jeffrey City National Weather Service observer was one of five people out of 11,000 to receive the National Weather Service's most prestigious award.

But that's not all Jack Darnell has done in his life of service.

Darnell served with the United States Marines in WWII and was wounded at Iwo Jima, earning the Purple Heart.

According to a Weather Service press release, Darnell's daily weather observations from Jeffrey City ensured that "climate records continue in this remote stretch of Wyoming."

Darnell began taking daily weather observations in Jeffrey CIty in 1988. His predecessor worked for the Western Uranium Corporation, which was ending operations in the area.

"Mr. Darnell and his family eagerly accepted the challenge of operating a (Cooperative Weather Program) site in the soon-to-be ghost town," the Weather Service said. "Over 30 years later, he continues this legacy with excellence, dedication and attention to detail.

"Mr. Darnell is a lifelong community volunteer and can still be seen helping with ranch roundups."

According to the Weather Service, the weather records Darnell helps provide invaluable data for scientists studying floods, heat and cold waves. At the end of each month, observers mail their records to the National Center for Environmental Information.

Famous historical figures who have maintained weather records include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

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