WARRENSBURG - There's a mahogany plaque bearing a U.S. Presidential seal in Darren Duell's house that represents considerable pride on behalf of Duell, his family and local citizens.
It bears his credentials as a member of the White House security team.
For years he used this identification booklet to gain access to the White House and places top U.S. officials visited. Now, the credentials are now affixed to the honorary plaque as a memento.
Duell, 37, just retired from the Navy after a 20-year career, most recently as a member of the White House Communications Agency.
Although he won't get specific about his work, apparently he worked on an advance team of military officials that secures sites and sets up communications apparatus whenever a U.S. president goes on a trip.
He's been is Washington D.C. since 2008 working on the White House security team on behalf of the Department of Defense.
On July 17, dozens of Duell's friends and neighbors attending an open house congratulated him for his two decades of service to the nation. This retirement celebration was held at the American Legion Post on River Street. Among those attending were his parents, Rusty and Donna Duell and Darren's brother Doug Duell, principal of Warrensburg High School.
Duell said this week he is happy to be retiring from the military and returning to his hometown, where his wife and children have been situated for several years.
"I enjoyed my Navy career," Duell said. "I had the opportunity to go a lot of places, and I did a lot of things."
Soon after graduating from Warrensburg High School in 1990, Duell enlisted in the Navy.
In the Navy, he learned how to maintain computer equipment used in cryptology - the field of encrypting data and interpreting coded messages - plus how to maintain and repair high-frequency direction finder devices - arrays of antennas that detect the location of covert radio transmissions.
This work landed him on Diego Garcia Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, several stints in Winter Harbor Maine, Rota, Spain and Biloxi, Miss., and Sugar Grove, West Virginia.
It was during his stint in Sugar Grove maintaining computer systems that he met his wife Diane, who was a cryptology technology officer.
They married in December 2004 and she left the service. The two had twins and she settled in Warrensburg to raise the children, with Duell visiting as often as he could.
Most recently, he has focused on maintenance of computer networks for security and communications and that's the field in which he'll be seeking employment, Duell said.
Undoubtedly, he'll be enjoying recreational activities that he participated in while in the military - softball, flag football and volleyball. In high school, Duell was a starting pitcher in baseball, and he was active on the football and basketball teams as well.
Also, Duell will be pursuing the outdoor activities he said he loves.
"It's good to be getting back to my fishing and hunting," he said.
Duell added he's happy to be at home with his family.
He said although he and Diane could choose to raise their family anywhere, they've chosen to return to Warrensburg, for its school and the community spirit.
"I've been looking forward to being home here with my family, instead of being a weekend dad," he said.