CLINTON — A Davenport-based nonprofit motorcycle safety club has organized a First Responders Tribute Ride through Clinton and Scott counties in honor of fallen Clinton Fire Department Lt. Eric Hosette and injured firefighter Adam Cain.
A special passenger will be along for the ride: a tributary wood carving completed by U.S. Army veteran Anthony Martin depicting Cain laying down Hosette's uniform.
Scheduled for Saturday, the Tribute will take area riders from Clinton's Harley Davidson shop at 2519 Lincoln Way to the Quad-Cities via U.S. 67, then return to Clinton via DeWitt, according to the group's Facebook page.
Back in Clinton, riders will visit all three of the city's fire stations, landing at Central Fire, Hosette's home station. Hosette was killed in an explosion while battling a fire at Clinton's Archer Daniels Midland facility Jan. 5.
Cain was injured in the blast but recovered and returned to work in early May.
Martin, of Maservey, said he felt "obligated" to reach out to the Clinton community after the tragedy during its time of mourning.
"You can say I've been in that position before," Martin said earlier this year. "That position of seeing your battle buddies die in action, I've been there. I really felt the need to help out the community any way that I could, and this is just something that naturally came to my mind."
Martin took up chainsaw carving after experiencing severe post-traumatic stress disorder after his discharge from the Army, he said. After realizing that the PTSD was causing his life "to go downhill," the soldier decided he needed something to quell the symptoms. He found that carving was "a way to channel" his aggression.
"All it is is therapy for me," Martin said. "If I can use that therapy to help others in any way, that's just a positive situation all around."
Taking an estimated 120 hours of work, the statue will be along for the ride Saturday, eventually finding its home at Central Fire Station where it will serve as a reminder of Hosette and Cain's sacrifices in the line of duty.
Registration for the Tribute Ride is set for 9 a.m. Saturday. The ride will begin between noon and 12:30. Funds raised will be split evenly between the Hosette and Cain families.
The single-rider fee is $25. A rider with one passenger will pay $35, and those wishing to drive the route in a car will pay $5 for each person in the car.
According to the ride's Facebook page, a rain make-up date is scheduled for Saturday, June 29.