Throughout HOPE’s history, we’ve witnessed countless journeys where hope is found in the face of loss. ​

Bob and Cindy Roberts had one child, their daughter, Kristie. Instilled with the family value of patriotism, they understood when Kristie told her parents that she wanted to join the New York Army National Guard at the age of 17. Kristie was a paramedic in the private sector, volunteering for multiple EMS agencies, before becoming a medic in the military. She advocated for the very young and very old, wanting to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Throughout her military career, Kristie served in both the New York Army National Guard and the New York Air National Guard. However, on August 21, 2012, Bob and Cindy became Gold Star Parents when Kristie died by suicide at the age of 27. ​

In their journey after Kristie’s death, the Roberts found the support, courage, and strength to share their story to raise awareness for suicide prevention, hoping that no other family will have to experience the loss they’ve felt. The couple first connected with HOPE at the Coca-Cola 600 over Memorial Day weekend in May 2017, as Kristie’s name was included on a car to remember fallen service members. The Roberts attended the event as part of a group of Gold Star families, allowing them to connect and share the stories of their loved ones in a weekend of remembrance and healing. Since then, the family has worked with HOPE to continue connecting with other Gold Star families while providing support and helping each other find their voices to share their stories.