(CBS) — A man from the far north suburbs has just received an “Outstanding Citizen’s Award” from the Virginia-based Aware Foundation, which helps find missing persons.

He is the reluctant hero — reluctant because he doesn’t even want us to use his last name.

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Brian, from Richmond, Illinois, had the day off almost three weeks ago. He decided to spend it driving and looking for a man who was reported missing in the northern suburbs.


“I had an 18-year career as a firefighter-paramedic,” he says of his interest in helping.

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He drove and searched for about 5 ½ hours. He found the man, a 54-year-old veteran from Kentucky who was supposed to start a job at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in North Chicago but never showed up and hadn’t checked in with his family for a week.

Brian says he spotted the man’s truck in a Zion parking lot and called police. The man was alive but needed medical care.

Brian says he’s glad he gave the family some answers.

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“It’s the point of doing something because you can.  And it’s the right thing to do,” he says.