Christmas Eve is upon us and there is just time for one last post (unless something else good comes up). What follows are a few messages from the troops to you all for Christmas.
Make sure you scroll down and check out the video messages at the end, especially the ones from the Air Task Group, who were kind enough to include us in their thoughts!
The first message is from a very special fellow. He was in Al Minhad Air Base in 2012 when I had just started up Aussie Heroes. I made his quilt myself and met him later in August 2012 after he had returned home. He has been a great supporter and friend of Aussie Heroes ever since and now he finds himself deployed again…..
Good morning to all the wonderful Aussie Hero Quilters
Well, I’m back … and this time I brought with me my beautiful quilt which I received back in early 2012. This place is a desert, literally, and nothing is green (oh how I miss the green), and that is why my quilt means so much to me. I love playing golf and my quilt is basically a lush green golf course and when I step into my room from the harsh realities of our surrounds I am greeted by the colour of my quilt and am reminded of two things: one, I will see green again, but more importantly that there are people in Australia who take the time, make the effort and willingly give that my life, whilst serving in this inhospitable place is made that much easier.
So thank you and may God bless you this Christmas.
To the “Fleet of Quilters” who are the fine ship’s company of Aussie Hero Quilts:
(Sorry! Can’t help it!! I’m Navy through and through!!!)
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a holy and blessed Christmas.
Thank you for all your marvelous support for ADF members deployed far from home and family. I want to assure you that the beautiful gifts that you create are appreciated and treasured far beyond the end of the deployment in which they were given.
Your incredible quilts and laundry bags do not only brighten the days when we are “in theatre”. They become part of the memories from those particular moments of our lives and in the appreciation of their quality and the telling and retelling of the unique story which is at the heart of each quilt and laundry bag, they become and remain living testimonies of care, goodness and connectedness.
As a deployed chaplain, I can honestly say that each gift you send makes my job that much easier. To know that someone is “thinking about you” and appreciates what you are doing makes the days – and they can get very long indeed! – that much brighter.
So, I hope you all know that your quilts and laundry bags make a huge difference in the life of each person who receives one.
It has become a truism of Christmas celebrations that it is all about “family”. To me, Christmas is far more about the welcome, hospitality and “homecoming” that is extended to the stranger. Historically, that seems to me to make far better sense of the Jesus story. In terms of what it says about God (again, mea culpa, I’m a Christian minister, what else am I going to talk about at this time of year??!! LOL) is that Christmas is all about divine hospitality to those who are not like God – and that’s all of us!
So, when I think about the amazing things that the “Aussie Hero Quilt Fleet” does, I want to claim an echo of that divine hospitality which is at the heart of Christmas in the work of art which is every quilt and laundry bag created and delivered to a surprised and astounded stranger.
If it is true (and I happen to believe it is!) that “God is love” – then THANK YOU for the love that you pour into each gift you make. That’s the “heart of the echo” – and that echo resounds again and again every time one of us looks at the beautiful quilt or laundry bag we have received.
A joyful Christmas to you all.
CHAP Andrew Watters RAN
Chaplain HMAS Newcastle
Rotation 60: 01 April – 27 September 2015
Dear Aussie Hero Quilters,
Christmas is a time of reflection and thanksgiving. For myself and many of the men and women on our rotation who were in Iraq earlier this year, we have much to be thankful for.
We are thankful for the love and support that you provided us when we were away which was overwhelming.
We are thankful for the messages of goodwill that you made to us, which kept us going when the days were long.
We are thankful for your parcels of food and treats which for a few brief moments reminded us of our homes on the other side of the world.
We are thankful for the gifts of quilts and laundry bags which identified us to our Coalition partners from across the globe that we were Australians and made our brothers in arms envious of such thoughtful gifts.
We are thankful we are home, safe and sound for Christmas. Safe in the land we love with friends and families we hold so dear, joining them in prayers for peace on earth and goodwill to all men.
We may not have known you before we left Australia and unfortunately for some, we may never get the opportunity to meet and thank you in person, however your gifts and support to us brought a small piece of Australia to us, which we are forever thankful for.
Keep up the great work as our boys and girls are still out serving in the air, land and sea far away and would love and appreciate the same support that you gave to us. Have a very Merry Christmas, enjoy the break and all best in 2016 to you and all your families!
From the Kabul CIS Node we would like to say a big thank you to the Aussie Hero Quilters for their support and kindness this year. We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and are excited to be back in Australia next year, all the best for the holiday season!
From Natacha, Joshua, Nathaneal, Brendan, Benjamin, Omar, Joshua, Andrew, Jared, Bryce and William.
Hi Carol B,
Thank you dearly for my quilt, I grew up on the north coast of NSW, so I do miss the ocean and all of the creatures within it.
I wish you a very Cheery Christmas full of love and laughter, and a new year that brings only good news and good health.
Thank you from the depths of my heart
For Cheryl R,
All the very best to you and your family for Christmas and the New Year.
It is a time of year when we know that many are thinking of us while deployed, but take note that many of us will also be thinking of you because of the generous work you do.
Please enjoy the season and keep up the great work
Aussie Hero Quilters,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you. Your tireless work is truly remarkable and each item you gift to us is a reminder that the spirit of Australia is behind us and our tasks before us will be done with the support of our Nation spurring us on.
Please have a safe and relaxing festive season from all of us here
in the Middle East Region. …..
Hello Julie-Ann and Friends,
I just wanted to write to you all and let you know that your parcel has arrived to me over here and I am thrilled with it’s contents of course but more the thought that it conveys.
I am a doctor over here amongst several other Aussie health professionals in amongst a throng of other nationalities. Everybody else always comments on how well the Aussies are looked after! Don’t worry I shared the Starbursts with them!
At this time of year no matter how well adjusted you are there is always the feeling of loneliness at Christmas when you are away on such things. So thank-you all for what you are doing for all of us and may good things shine on you all from above.
Enjoy the photo as I have enjoyed receiving the parcel and Merry Christmas to you all.
And if you don’t have Facebook, here are some of the gorgeous pictures the troops have been circulating
Thank you to all at Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) who have supported our Health team by providing Quilts and Laundry bags to us. We have also received beautiful Christmas bunting and gifts.
and after the photo became our cover pic….
Thank you Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) for all of your support to us during our deployment. From providing beautiful Quilts and Laundry bag to Christmas treats and decorations. Your team is truly amazing and makes our time here better. Merry Christmas to you all.
And from the same group.
CHRISTMAS WISHES TO THE AUSSIE HERO QUILTS FROM THE AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL TEAM WORKING IN THE NATO ROLE II HOSPITAL IN
Dear Aussie Hero Quilt Hero’s,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thankyou for all your support and packages.
FLTLT Shaun Robertson
Wishing you seasons greetings and a Happy New Year. Loved the care and attention to detail! Thankyou very much!!
Dear Aussie Hero Quilt Team,
I would love to wish all a very Merry Christmas and thankyou from the bottom of my heart!!!
Thank you Aussie Hero Quilts.
FLTLT Luke Pitty
Thankyou for spending your precious time in making these beautiful quilts. They are much appreciated especially with the cold weather.
Dear Aussie Hero Quilts,
Thankyou so much for everything you do! Keep up the great work. Have a wonderful and safe Christmas and Best Wishes for 2016.
Dear Aussie Hero Quilts!
Thankyou for your amazing gifts! The love and effort are clearly seen in the results, something I know the team and I will value forever.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
From, Kelsey Noonan
To Aussie Hero Quilts,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thanks for the quilt, it has kept me warm. Much appreciated.
SGT Matthew Ware
Wishing all at the Aussie Hero Quilts the warmest Christmas wishes. I have my lovely quilt on my bed and it brightens my thoughts every time I look at it. Thankyou so much for the gift of your precious time and energy. It really does mean a lot.
Thankyou and Merry Christmas.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a productive new year.
Thank you for all your support.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, thank you for your support
Wishing all the team of Volunteers at Aussies Hero Quilts for our Quilts which will provide us with memories from now and into the future. Also, thank you for the Christmas gifts which have brightened our time here.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
From the Air Task Group!
And from Camp Baird.
Air Task Group Christmas Messages…. this one is extra special because it contains several special mentions for Aussie Heroes!
And just in case I have missed any… here is the complete package….Enjoy!
Merry Christmas Everyone and a very happy New Year.
Lots of love from Jan-Maree
Wonderful to read…very merry Christmas Jan-Maree and here's to very happy New Year!!
I am always so encouraged when I read your posts. You and your group are such a light for these service men and women. I salute your diligence and fortitude in making quilts for your countrymen. Wishing you a blessed Christmas. You continue to be a blessing to many.