If you are new to Aussie Heroes you might not have seen this photo but this is the first photo of a serving member with his quilt in Afghanistan that we were able to publish.  This fellow received one of the very first quilts that were sent to the lovely Warrant Officer (LWO) and his team. 
And on Saturday he brought his wife and two gorgeous children to say hello!
 If you have read the Aussie Hero History you will know that my quilt group, the Gumnut Quilters, and I sent 15 laundry bags and 25 quilts over.  The LWO had a team of 15 and so there was one quilt for each of them and some extras for the LWO to hand around however he saw fit.  Of those extra quilts went to this fellow and he was the only one we ever heard from as far as I know.  
Straight away he sent a photo of himself and a lovely thank you message.
To all the members at Gumnut Quilters
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful gift.  It is people like you that make the time away from our loved ones a little less painful.  This quilt will keep me warm over the next few months until I return home.  I look forward to giving it to my son when I return home as I know he will love it just as much as I do.  Thank you

I wrote him and offered to send him a laundry bag but he refused saying…

Once again thank you for the lovely work that all the Gumnut Quilters are doing to put a smile on our faces….
This is my third trip here and it great to see after all this time, we still have so much support from back home….
As the quilt was unexpected, I didn’t know about the laundry bags.
I am so grateful for the quilt that I could not ask for a laundry bag.  Its not that I wouldn’t like one, I just think the time used to make one for me, could be used to make one for someone who has not yet received such a beautiful gift.
Thank you and keep up the great work.
What a lovely guy!  And he went to the effort of getting a picture 
that was approved by his boss to be posted on the blog!
Here it is!

 At some point the LWO told us that he had asked if it would be at all possible to make a quilt for his daughter seeing as he was going to give the original one to his son.  Now let me stress, this would not happen again but this was earlier on and he had made an effort for us so we were happy to oblige.  I called for nine patch blocks in pretty pinks and they FLOODED in!

After I was approached by a magazine to do an article I wrote to him to ask permission to use his photo for the magazine.  I hated asking but I felt I needed to and I didn’t think he would mind and I was right.

Once again sorry for the late reply. The days seem to disappear before I get the chance to reply.
Every thing is going well over here. We made it through the winter warm and safe (thanks to Gumnut Quilters). I have done two winters over here now and by far this one was the coldest.
My team and I are quite busy at the moment as we are getting ready to conduct a hand over with the new team. After 6.5 months, we are all looking forward to getting home. ( only to face another winter) When we return to Australia/Sydney, the four of us (he and his family) will make a visit to your club.

I cannot say thank you enough for all the effort you lovely people put in.  Also a special thank you to everyone that has worked on my daughter’s quilt.  She was in hospital for most of the week due to an unknown virus.  Its the first time one of my children have been admitted to hospital and I have to say it was probably one of the hardest weeks I have experienced over here.
You’re trained to deal with a lot of things prior to coming over here, but when it comes to family back home, you feel so helpless.  Thankfully I have such a beautiful and supportive wife who has helped put my mind at ease.  My daughter is out of hosiptal now and recovering just in time for her birthday.  She turns 1 on the 13th of May.
Attached are a few photos that I have been meaning to send, plus one of my little girl in hospital.   Feel free to use the photos for your blog.
My wife knows about the quilt and she is also very thankful.
Thanks again

This little one recovered perfectly but not before giving both of her parents an awful fright.

And here are the other photos.  Apparently last winter was one of the coldest they have had over there.

Once we started work on the pink and girly quilt I posted some progress photos but then I received this email so not long after I stopped posting photos as I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.  

I have spent all afternoon on the Aussie heros blog catching up on what I’ve missed. Thank you thank you thank you to all of the Aussie hero quilters. And a special heart felt thank you to all the quilters who have worked on my daughter’s quilt. I have to admit (to being very touched) when reading the blogs and comments. 

So, I never showed you a picture of the completed quilt but let me tell you I was dying to!!!   It is sooooo cute!  The blocks flooded in!  We could almost have made two quilts but I knew you have all put so much love into them so I wanted to include them all.  The wonderful Patchwork Orange donated the gorgeous flowery backing fabric which was also used for the border.   The Turramurra Twins, Carol and Claire arranged it on the design wall and I think I put it together though they may have done it  – it was a while ago now.  Then it was layered and given to Denise to quilt and bind.  

Finally after all that the quilt was given to a Gumut, Sharon, and she stitched the label on

And embroidered a little angel on the back as well.

I didn’t keep take a photo of the label but it said 
“This is a special Aussie Hero Quilt, 
made for an Aussie Hero’s Little Angel, 
Welcome Home Dad!”

These lovely parents were very touched by those words.

They loved the quilt and the little angel seemed quite taken with it too.

As well as the quilt, Miss Naomi from SA had sent over a couple of cute owls for the children

and they were a big hit too.

When they came to the front door the little fellow was clutching the original quilt, all bundled up in his arms and said most emphatically, “This is my quilt!”  I don’t think Dad is getting it back!  
They have been pretty busy since Dad’s return.  As well as Mum having to have her tonsils out they enjoyed a trip to NZ, accompanied by the quilt AND the laundry bag that Dad eventually chose out of some spares that I had sent to the LWO.  I didn’t take a picture of the Laundry Bag when he visited but he got the curly fries bag!
They brought it full circle back to show me so I could see it when they visited!
You know my son thought I was cruel sending a curly fries bag – he thought it would leave them craving fries!  Such a teenager!

We had a lovely morning tea and a great time chatting.  Such a treat.  They are such a gorgeous couple and their children are so cute.  The little girl is a real little doll and the little boy has lovely manners and was very well behaved.  

Before they left they insisted on a group shot for the blog – this photo is the little fellow showing off his super hero quilt.

First the four of them,

and then all of us – that is Sharon on the right who fought valiantly not to be included in the pictures but I thought she should be and thankfully she was too polite to refuse – though I am sure she will kill me later!

Look at those little cherubs – 
and the kids were cute too!

Till next time………….keep spreading the word and happy stitching!