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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Four teens and one Air Force airman from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, received congressional awards for community service and personal development.

Jose Luis Tovar, 17, will receive a gold medal from The Congressional Award program. It’s the highest honor bestowed upon young people by the U.S. Congress.

Each year, the program honors between 100 and 175 people between the ages of 14 and 23 who are goal oriented and are dedicated to community service. The awards program was established in 1979 to “promote initiative, achievement and excellence” among youth, according to a press release.

Peter Terpeluk Jr., the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg, presented the awards to the five winners at a ceremony at Spangdahlem Air Base last week. Tovar will travel to Washington, D.C., this week to accept his award.

He helped organize a teddy bear collection for school children in New York City who were traumatized by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He also volunteers at the Luxembourg American Military Cemetery annually to help clean the headstones of buried soldiers and collected care packages for injured soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. He recently picked up tennis as his personal development goal and participates in soccer and wrestling.

The other award winners received silver medals:


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