(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.

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.

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.

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