Former Conn. Cadet Killed, 2 Injured in Wreck
Former Connecticut Wing cadet Shalymar Herrera was one of two young women killed in an automobile accident April 8 in Shelton, Connecticut.
Two other former cadets, Lawrence Carter and Jesse Abrams, were injured in the crash. Carter’s wife, Briana Torres Carter, who was eight months pregnant, also died.
Lawrence Carter, Herrera and Abrams were former members of the Stratford Eagles Composite Squadron.
Tuesday evening, the squadron hosted a gathering of unit members, family and friends of the former cadets at squadron headquarters at Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford. Chaplain (Maj.) Eric Wismar, the unit’s chaplain, led the meeting, which included four visiting Civil Air Patrol chaplains who were attending the Northeast Region Chaplains College at Camp Niantic Army National Guard Base in Connecticut.
Those present also included U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force recruiters who had worked with Herrera, who was an Army private, and Abrams, an Air Force airman. Herrera’s parents attended as well.
Wismar said the evening – which was organized by Lt. Col. Meghan Browneli, the Connecticut Wing’s emergency services officer and a former Stratford cadet herself – allowed those present “to walk through the pain of these losses together.” He set the room up in the same manner as he has done for character development classes, he said.
“It enabled those members of the squadron, especially the cadets, to share their pain, their thoughts and their memories of those lost,” Wismar said. “It was a very emotional event.”
“The chaplains from the staff college were great,” Wismar said. “They were a comfort to all, especially Herrera’s parents.”
The visiting chaplains’ “being there as a ministry of presence to walk through this grief and devastation with everyone was of great value,” he added.
“As chaplains our mission is you,” Wismar told those present.