Grati-Tuesday 01 September 2020

Written by AHQ

1 September 2020

                                                                 Can you believe its September already! Welcome to Spring friends, and welcome to my favourite time of the week… Sit back and enjoy the read… Alex.

Dear Cath,

Thank you so much for the laundry bag, it turned out better than I could have ever hoped. I especially like the wattle and ferns.

As I write this, I hope my handwriting is neat enough to read, but there is something inherently more personal about a handwritten letter and I really appreciate the effort you have put into the laundry bag.

My wife was a teacher for years. Unfortunately, due to always moving with the Defence it got difficult changing jobs between states and she now works in a different field as a consultant. They treat her really well though and have kept her working by distance where we are currently located in Northern Territory. I am really looking forward to getting home.

I just found out that I have been competently selected for a job in NSW next year. We don’t mind moving, just physically moving is the most difficult part.

My background is Infantry, I have spent most of my time in QLD and NT. More recently, I have spent most of my time in desk jobs but I look forward to getting back to a unit amongst soldiers.

Back home we have a dog. He is a rescue and was sold as a Kelpie Cross but I think he is more of a Ridgeback. In reality, he acts like a 30-40kg cat and frequently tries to sit on your lap and curl up on the couch.

My Gran loves textiles. She is currently located in Country NSW and made us a quilt for our wedding, hence why I didn’t order one. Unsure if she has ever made anything through Aussie Hero Quilts, but she used to make Beanies for the troops overseas.

I became interested in defence because my father was a Royal New Zealand Air Force Officer. We moved over to Australia when I was young, but he then left. He now works on defence projects. I was always drawn to Army as a more hands on service. I joined in 2009 straight out of school and haven’t looked back since.

We were meant to have a mid tour break when my wife and I were going overseas. Unfortunately this did not occur due to COVID and we will be 7-8 months apart by the time I get home. We will try to go camping instead when I get home. I have booked an adventure race but am unsure whether I will be able to compete in it due to COVID border restrictions.

Before this posting, I was lasted posted to the ACT. It is a lovely area…. too cold for my wife however. She is Queensland born and bred. Our poor puppy wasn’t a fan of the cold either. He used to burrow himself into the blankets on the couch.

The drawing on the laundry bag is perfect. I didn’t even realise they were drawn. I thought they might have been bought/traced. It’s certainly unique and I love that about it.

 I will be home soon and I know that we will continue to use it at home, and on any other exercise/deployments.

My role next year will be heavily involved with Domestic Crisis, so hopefully there is more I can do there to help closer to home.

I hope this letter finds you well.

Take care and stay safe.

Dear Clarissa,

Thank you very much for my laundry bag. It’s beautiful and will be so much easier to find down in the laundry now!

Thank you for all your support to me and all the other defence deployed through Aussie Hero Quilts. It is greatly appreciated by all and it always brings a smile to people’s faces when they receive mail from home.

Your family sounds very active and involved in the community. I hope you are all doing well in these uncertain times.

A bit about myself. I am 27 years old and am currently posted to the west coast with the rest of the crew. It’s beautiful on the west coast plus it is an amazing place to live. My parents live in country Victoria and my brother is in the military too. He just got posted to NSW this year which he is loving. My partner lives overseas. I’m hoping international travel is open again when we get home so I can go visit him. I enjoy sports but haven’t been able to play much in the last few years as I’ve been travelling a lot for work.
Thank you for all you do. I hope you are all safe.

Hi Sonia,
I recieved one of your laundry bags that you made. I cannot express my gratitude enough. It brought great joy to the boys and I here in the Northern Territory.
Thank you for taking the time to sew us a robust laundry bag. I shall use it even when I get out of Defence.

Hi Kate,
Just a short note to let you know that we have received your postbag of 6 wonderful laundry bags. They have been so well received. And because of that, I will have no difficulty of giving them to the soldiers who will be serving on OP Resolute later this year. They will be in close quarters for a considerable period of time and having a purpose made laundry bag will go a long way to ensuring clean and tidy living quarters.
So, on behalf of the Brigade, Brigadier and myself, thank you very much for your fantastic work in making and sending the Laundry Bags over the west to support the service women and men to support the service women and men who will be serving our country whether it be in COVID Assist or on OP Resolute.
So thanks again from the women and the men for your kind thoughts and love.
Kindest Regards.

Good Afternoon Georgina,
I have received my beautiful quilt. It turned out even better than I could have imagined. I can’t express enough my thanks to you for making it for me – I will truly treasure it forever.
I hope the Australian winter is being kind to you this year! I grew up in ACT and understand the feeling of walking outside and being so cold your face starts to hurt. Being cold is a distant memory for me though, we are currently experiencing 50+ degree days over here, and the taps don’t have cold water. The first thing I want to do when I get home is to have a cold shower, then wrap myself up in your beautiful creation!
This is my first deployment and so far I have loved every challenge, every person and every day. I work in Administration as an Officer, and I feel so privileged to be in a position where I get to help people that need it.
I had the privilege of meeting Jan-Mare last year when she came to a Dinner at our RAAF base, and I said to her I felt star struck talking to her. The work you all do means more to us over here than you could possibly imagine. One of the highlights being here is watching people receive their quilts and laundry bags. The excitement, the photos and sharing of the stories behind them, is the biggest morale boost for us.
Thank you once again, for my quilt, and your ongoing work for us!
Keep warm, Respectfully.
Good morning Sue,
I am the lucky recipient of your Arnott’s Biscuits Laundry Bag!
I am a soldier serving in the humid paradise of the Northern Territory. I have been assisting the command and coordination of Defence Force members who are spread out around the Northern Territory supporting local Police. It can be high tempo at times, but it feels good to get involved.
Receiving your thoughtful gift has made it all the more rewarding. I also love and grew up on Arnott’s, so I’m a big fan of your work!
I hope all is well with you. 
Thank you very much for the warming gift!

What a lovely surprise for my husband and I to have this beautiful quilt and laundry bag delivered to our home today. Thank you especially to Lynn F for all her work organising this for my husband in what has been a very challenging year.
A big thank you also goes to all the great volunteers at Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) who helped this beautiful quilt and laundry bag for my husband and for creating so many quilts and laundry bags for service men and women across Australia and for those that are deployed overseas. What a wonderful organisation. My husband will treasure it forever. This was a total surprise to us both.
Thanks again to everyone involved in this beautiful gesture.
Dear Clarissa,
In the hectic nature of my role here, I had forgotten to send you a thank you for the Laundry Bag I received from you. This morning, as I was filling said bag after doing some PT, it dawned on me that I had been so forgetful – I sincerely apologise. As a ‘died-in-the-wool’ infanteer, the bag is perfect.
By way of introduction, I have been in the Army for almost 24 years and, barring the 18 months at RMC, have always been an infantryman. I enlisted in ’96 and saw service in South East Asia then as a Recruit Instructor before commencing my training to become an Officer. My formative years as a Lieutenant were really exciting and saw me taken a Platoon to the South Western Pacific on exercise, and Oceania on Operation Astute in 2006 and the Middle East on Op Slipper in 2007. Subsequently I have studied languages and been involved in training in Junior NCOs and Cadets at ADFA, led ceremonial contingents in Europe, South East Asia and Africa, worked as a Military Observer in the Middle East on Operation Paladin, Commanded Operation Resolute rotations in Oceania and been the Second-In-Command of Battalion.
I am married with two children (4 years and 2 years) to my current wife, and an 18 year old to my former wife. My 18 year old daughter is currently studying nursing at University; however she has reported that she is losing interest a bit.
To provide you some assurance, my bag arrived at my home address and then my wife forwarded it to me here. I think the confusion about timings came from the plan for the quilt; however, I have had your bag for about a month now – and it is very appreciated.
I sincerely thank you for your gift, and I thank your family for giving you the time to make it. I hope that you and your family are well and I wish you all a great end to your year – it could only get better given the way 2020 has been.
Kind Regards.
Dear Lyn,
Firstly let me say how grateful I was to receive the Hero Quilt. I really appreciate you personalising my quilt in marvellous Adelaide Crows Colours. When it arrived it really made my day… and I needed a morale boost given how badly the Crows have been playing this season. 
My Grandparents on my father’s side emigrated from Ireland in the 1950’s and established themselves in South Australia. They raised 3 children. My Father, the eldest married my mother. She is the youngest of 7. My father joined the Australian Army as a Ground Based Air Defence Soldier and was stationed in South Australia.
Apart from some postings to NSW and QLD, my parents established themselves in South Australia and raised 3 children – myself and my twin brother and our little sister. My father would reach the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 before retiring. In the same year as my father’s retirement my brother and I joined the Australian Army ourselves. 
My brother ran off and became an Infantry Soldier for a few years before being commmissioned, he reached the rank of Captain – he is now out of the Army and working in Financial Services. For me, I always knew that Army would be a life choice and at recruitment I was selected as a direct entry cadet into the Royal Military College – Duntroon, graduating as a Signals Corps Officer in 2003. 
It’s been almost 19 years of service for me. I have deployed to the Middle East in 2007, and 2009 and now my third (and hopefully last) deployment where I am stationed for the third time  in the Middle East. I am now married to a wonderful lady and we have two amazing kids. A son, 8, and daughter, 6. We are currently stationed in the ACT but we have been recently told we be moving out of the cold and up to the NT on my return home from deployment.
Again, thank you for the quilt. It will be a part of my story now and I will forever link my time within the Military and the history I have with South Australia.
My very best wishes to you and your family.
Hello Jenny,
First of all thank you for the lovely quilt. I am truly grateful for this one of a kind quilt and the reminders of home in your parcel. i received your parcel a few days before I left the Middle East. 
So a little about me. I’m a reservist on a Continuous full time service (CFTS) basically a contract. I have been deployed before back in 2012 – 13. I have had 20 years in the Defence Force.
I live in NSW. I also have a civilian job. I have two adult kids, a son 21, and daughter 18. I’m currently in isolation, however, where I am is not a bad place to be, but I will be happy to be home soon.
Once again, thank you and pass on my thanks to Aussie Hero Quilts.
Kind Regards.
Good Afternoon Sue,
Hope this email finds you well, I have recieved an incredibly amazing quilt from yourself today, the job you did on the laundry bag exceeded my expectations and am truly grateful for the incredible work and effort you put in, it couldn’t have been more perfect. This is a testament to your creativity and impeccable workmanship. It truly put a smile on my face and have had a grin from ear to ear since. It was exactly what I needed, a morale boost for my remaining time in my deployment. Covid has made things challenging both back at home and here in the desert, I’m hoping we can all find a way to ensure things return to a degree of normality.
Finally, I just want to say thank you again, seeing the smiles on all the troops faces when they receive these from yourselves is a truly amazing thing, being away from our families really makes things hard, but fortunately we have people like yourselves who truly care and provide us with the necessary morale boost we need.
Kind Regards.

Dear Carolyn,
A few days ago, I recieved a very special care package which contained the beautiful quilt you so thoughtfully made me. I have sent you a proper letter the ‘old fashioned way’ but I wanted to send a quick email to say thank you and that I love it so much.
One of my first thoughts when I arrived here, was that they must have had an extra colour palette when they painted this place. Now I have your quilt, it seems even more so!
I hope this email finds you safe and well in the winter sun of Australia.
So many many thanks.
Good Morning Lisa,
I have received my Aussie Hero Quilt and have let the quilter Marianne also know I received it. I just wanted to say a big thank you to Aussie Hero Quilts as well.
I was very touched by the gift and letter I received from Marianne and as I said to Marianne I always thought that your program was wonderful but had no idea that receiving one whilst deployed would be quite as significant as it feels. It really made my day and it’s truly touching that there are Aussies out there who do these things for essentially strangers.
I really appreciate everybody’s hard work and the clear love and care that goes into the quilts and laundry bags and the process to get them out to everyone.
Thanks again.
Good Morning Aussie Hero Team,
I am emailing to say thank you on behalf of our Regiment for the laundry bags that were sent to the unit in appreciation for the efforts during the 2019 Townsville floods.
We as a unit are extremely grateful for the support that you have provided to the unit as well as the ongoing support provided to all serving members overseas.
Receiving the laundry bags puts a smile on all our faces and reinforces that the value of our efforts does not go unnoticed.

Dear Bridget,
Firstly, how do I say thank you enough for the heart warming, beautiful quilt you created for me. I work with a mixed team of Army, Navy, Airforce and APS Civilian workers and the quilt bought tears to our eyes. Could you please pass our blessing on to Kerri for her beautiful embroidery.
Your quilt has inspired me, and I have asked my mum to drop off her sewing machine whilst I am in quarantine when I return to Australia shortly. I plan to make loads of scrunchies for my nieces as well as my friend’s little kids. This should keep me occupied whilst I wait to be reunited with my family.
A little bit about me, I have a partner, who has unfortunately been asked to deploy very soon, meaning he won’t be there when I return to Australia. I will get to see him briefly in passing through countries. We have two fur babies – a Siberian Husky and Red Cattle Dog. They are both very high energetic lovable animals. Our fur babies and careers have kept us both very busy, so I have no children of my own yet, but I have reached most of my career goals now, so we will see what our future holds. In my spare time, I enjoy F45, dance classes, the beach and spending as much time as I can with family and friends. I grew up near the beach in QLD and love the water. I was lucky enough to have my 30th birthday in the Middle East, where the command team enjoyed cake celebrations with me, which is very rare.
Once again, thank you and the Aussie Hero’s team for your dedication. I can hand over heart say your team brings so much joy and excitement to the deployment environment and everyone gets so excited when your parcels arrive.
Many blessings and stay safe during these trying times.
Hello Bridget,
I am the lucky recipient’s of one of your quilts. I would like to thank you personally, from the bottom of my heart for the effort and love you have put into making this quilt. I absolutely love it and nailed my requests (sorry if it was particularly difficult to achieve during COVID-19). Rest assured it is being put to good use.
A little bit about myself. This is my 11th year serving the Royal Australian Air Force, having joined in 2009. I was supposed to go to school to study but ultimately joined the RAAF after my cousin suggested it as an alternative to uni. I am an Aircraft Technician.
I have had the privilege to have travelled all over Australia and internationally with the aircraft, participating in various exercises and operations.
I have deployed to the Middle East twice now. The first in 2012 under Operation Slipper and now under Operation Accordion. I heard about Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags from a couple of the girls on my rotation and that’s how I came about learning all about what you lovely people do for deployed members. I can say with confidence that everyone who received their quilt and laundry bag (including myself) are absolutely stoked with how amazing the quilt and laundry bags turned out and we are beyond grateful for the time, effort and love you guys have out into making them.
In my spare time, I like to work out at the gym and hang out with mates. i love visiting my family spending time at the gorgeous beaches. I have no pets at the present time due to work commitments and constantly travelling.
I would love to thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for the effort and love you have put into this quilt. I appreciate you and the other ladies so much for doing this for us service men and women. I don’t think we can thank you all enough.
Please take care.
Good Afternoon Rita,
Thank you for your laundry bag, I will be using the bag on this deployment on COVID-19. A quick background of myself, I am Reserve Airfield Defence Guard and served in the Reserve Army Infantry for 13 years.
Your time and effort is truly amazing and I am touched by your commitment in showing us support. I have served on operations in Oceania and on-boarding operations, they’re is no better feeling then putting on my uniform and doing all I can to serve yourself and the people of Australia. 
I thank yourself and your family and friends who have served and supported all military members. I hope this message finds you well and thanks again.
Good Morning Marianne,
I hope this finds you and your family safe and well.
I was very pleased to receive the beautiful quilt made for me. I can’t tell you how happy I was with it, when I showed the girls I live with here they said ‘that’s so you’ and I can’t say thank you enough.
I was very touched by your letter too. Seahorses are special to me as well and my family often associate seahorses with me. When I was little a family friend gave me a tiny seahorse that her father had found washed up on shore, whilst fishing and given to her when she was little , that tiny seahorse had me totally fascinated ever since.
I love the Aussie Hero Quilt program, I had no idea that receiving the gift whilst deployed would be quite as significant as it feels. It made my day and it’s truly touching that there are Aussies out here who do these things for essentially strangers. I appreciate your hard work and effort that I’m sure goes into each of your quilts.
Thank you
Hi Lisa, Bridget and Inge,
Just letting you know that the quilt and laundry bag for my friend arrived today. Unfortunately with Stage 4 lock down in Melbourne, I can’t present to him with it until we hopefully move into Stage 3 in mid September 🙁 – but not too far away now!
The quilt and laundry bag are absolutely stunning, I can’t wait to see his face when I gave it to him! So much beautiful colour and detail. I know how I felt when I received my quilt and laundry bag earlier this year, as part of my deployment and it was very emotional (Robyn H did an incredible job), so I know he will be thrilled with it (not to mention surprised).
I hope you are all keeping safe and well, and having a lovely day.
Dear Pennie,
I am a Sergeant currently serving in Asia. 
We have recently received your laundry bags through our mail system and am writing to thank you for not only your efforts but your dedication to our soldiers.
You are exactly the reason we choose to serve and protect our nation, to preserve the kindness and compassion our nations people demonstrate on a daily basis.
On behalf of myself, and the members of my team thank you for your support and the reminder of why we do this.
In your eternal service.
Dear Rosemary,
Thank you for my beautiful quilt and laundry bag. The fabrics are lovely and I love that they have a story, travelling from the US back to Australia and then to me here. There is such joy when a member of my team receives a quilt, we all stop what we are doing to watch the parcel being opened. 
Your quilt brings such comfort. Again thank you

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