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Wyoming Purple Heart recipient lands prestigious ‘Thomas Jefferson Award’

(National Weather Service in Riverton)

CASPER, Wyo. — Jack Darnell is a resident of Jeffrey City, Wyoming and is a veteran of World War II.

“Mr. Darnell is a World War II Marine Corps combat veteran who was injured during the famous battle for Iwo Jima and was awarded the Purple Heart Medal,” the National Weather Service in Riverton says.

In addition to his military service to the country, Darnell has acted as a citizen weather observer for over 31 years as part of a Cooperative Weather program.

“He began providing daily weather observations at Jeffrey City in 1988 as a COOP observer,” the NWS says.

Darnell was awarded a “Thomas Jefferson Award” in December 2019, which is the National Weather Service’s most prestigious cooperative weather observer award.

“Of the more than 11,000 COOP observers nationally, only five recipients are selected each year across the U.S. to receive the Jefferson award,” the NWS says.

Weather observers have provided daily temperature and precipitation measurements along with reports on other weather factors since the program was founded over a century ago.

“There are very few observers that have been as deserving of this honor as Mr. Darnell,” said Data Acquisition Program Manager Ralph Estell. “The daily reports from Jeffrey City ensure that climate records continue in this remote stretch of Wyoming and his dedication is remarkable.”

NWS in Riveton’s Meteorologist in Charge Chris Jones added, “Mr. Darnell has a spirit of service that lives in his soul. We are grateful for his lifelong service to our nation, not just as a COOP observer.”


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