The Story of Bob and Cindy Roberts
2017 Vigiano Family Hope & Courage Award Recipients
Gold Star Parents Bob and Cindy Roberts were named recipients of The Vigiano Family Hope and Courage award at the eighth annual Hope For The Warriors’ Got Heart Give Hope Gala for the work they do in honor of their fallen daughter, SGT Kristie Roberts.
“We are so blessed to have had Kristie for 27 very short years,” said Kristie’s parents, Bob and Cindy Roberts. “Now she has passed on her torch to care and share. Our blessings have continued from veterans, our fellow Gold Star Parents and Hope For The Warriors. One day at a time, we follow where we are led. ‘That’s how we roll.’”
Bob and Cindy Roberts have been married for 35 years and had one child, their daughter, Kristie. The family has a history of being patriotic volunteers, so when Kristie told her parents that she wanted to join the New York Army National Guard at the age of 17, they understood. Kristie was a paramedic in the private sector, volunteering for multiple EMS agencies, before becoming a medic in the military. She was an advocate for the very young and very old, wanting to be a voice for those who are not able to speak for themselves. Throughout her military career, Kristie served in both the New York Army National Guard and the New York Air National Guard. On August 21, 2012, Bob and Cindy became Gold Star Parents. Kristie was one of the 22-A-Day who die by suicide. She was 27.
In their journey after Kristie’s death, the Roberts have found the support, courage, and strength to share their story with the hope of raising awareness for suicide prevention, hoping that no other family will have to experience the loss that they’ve felt. The couple first connected with Hope For The Warriors 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 all to connect and share their stories of their loved ones in a weekend of remembrance and healing. Since then, the family has worked with Hope For The Warriors to continue connecting with other Gold Star families while providing support for each other and helping each other find their voice to share their story.