CAMANCHE, Iowa-- Lieutenant Eric Hosette holds a special place in the heart of everyone in Clinton and every community he touched, including his old alma mater Camanche High School. To them, he will forever be a Camanche Indian.
“I knew he wanted to be a firefighter when he was in fifth grade,” said Stacey Reppert. Reppert taught Lt. Hosette nearly two decades ago, before he graduated in 2003. Now, just days after he died fighting a fire at the ADM plant in Clinton, staff and students are honoring his life.
“He was a Camanchian, he's a true Camanche Indian and we want to honor him in this way, said Reppert.
Uniting under one color, Camanche Indians of all ages created a sea of red in honor of the fallen hero. A way of showing support to a man that Reppert first met when he was ten-years-old.
“Everything he did, he tried to strive to do his best and he was doing his best the day he had fallen,” said Reppert.
A true hero to her and every student looking to follow in his footsteps.
“He graduated here and he's a Camanche alum and he was apart of the Camanche Fire Department, it's all just a great feeling to know he was just like us,” said Morgan Butt, a student at Camanche High and a junior firefighter.
“He's a hero and I know that doesn't give comfort to what happened but he was in the line of duty," said Reppert. "It's what he wanted to do. It doesn't change what happened but I respect him so much."
A respect she hopes can give comfort to both families involved.
“It's just one little way to show Eric and his family and the Cain family we appreciate then first responders and the sacrifices that they make,” said Reppert.
The Camanche School District is also collecting financial donations for the Clinton Fire Department.