Grati-Tuesday 14 August 2018 ….erm posted on the 16th….

Written by AHQ

15 August 2018

G’day all, 
this should have gone to air on Tuesday but I was really busy so did not quite get there… 


Dear Ann,
                 Thank you very much for the quilt and laundry bag that you sent to me. I received the package on the evening of Tuesday 14 August.
It was a just like Christmas opening up the package. The quilt has taken pride of place on my previously dull bed and has brightened up my side of a shared room. The laundry bag is almost too beautiful to use, but I will have to make a sacrifice and it will become a part of my weekly washing regime.  
I have served in the Australian Defence Force (ARMY) for over 30 years and have never been so touched by the generosity of someone who cares for what we do. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated not only by myself, but by all that are serving with me. This is my first deployment outside of Australia and I have approximately four months to go till I am back home.
I am currently located in an area that is averaging + 40C during the day, 30C at night and is rather dusty. The place starts with I and ends with Q. I was recently back home on leave and did experience some cool weather, it was great! Just walking on grass barefooted was a treat.
Thank you once again for the quilt and laundry bag.

Take care and all the best.


Dear Sue,
I am serving on Operation Aslan with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. I was lucky enough to receive your absolutely beautiful quilt. It has already given me great joy and a huge smile over the last 2 days since I have received it. I have taken some photos and will be sending them to you via e-mail with my thanks. I am serving with people from over 57 countries on this mission and have absolutely loved the chance to get to know them while we are working on improving the lives of the South Sudanese people. This was why I asked for a multi-coloured world map as I hope it will continue to remind me of the beautiful people both back in Australia and the ones I have met here from all over the world.

 I am absolutely over the moon with the quilt you have made for me and can’t express my gratitude enough.

 I have been fortunate to deploy while I am single and without children. I miss my family and friends back in Australia but I am very lucky for the opportunity to work for the U.N.

 In Australia I am a helicopter pilot on the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, The Tiger. I have been serving for the last 10 years with the Army.

This is my first overseas deployment and I have been working on making improvements to Force Protection for the 14,000 Military Troops across the country.

 I love reading, rock climbing and meeting new people so I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to continue with 2 of the things I enjoy while deployed. I look forward to coming home to continue rock climbing once I have finished my tour.

Also please pass on a hello to your family from me.
 Thank you again.

Good early morning Anne,

I received the quilt you made for me in the mail yesterday and just wanted to send you an email to thank you.

After 24 years in the Air Force this is my first deployment believe it or not! I have always been keen to come and do my bit so to speak but have just never been in the right place at the right time. Until this year that is. I was posted into 37 Squadron to work on the hercules aircraft and they are on a permanent rotation over here which means I will probably do 4 months over here in every year that I am posted there.

Being that it is my first deployment I had no idea what to expect. The main feeling for me was one of excitement to finally achieve this goal. My family are all very supportive, however my mum is quite concerned as all mothers would be I suppose? The fact I am able to be in contact with her and my wife regularly certainly helps allay their fears I think.

Once the initial excitement of arriving here subsided it becomes quite a mundane existence. It is insanely hot throughout the day, most of our work is done at night which is why I am messaging you now. It has peaked at 52 degrees in my time here and is generally quite dusty. We are either at work or back in our camp which consists of small, sterile little rooms. When I received the quilt it certainly brightened my room up, along with my day! Again, thank you so much. The fact that you have taken the time to do something so nice for someone you have never met is the exact reason I am here and proud to wear the uniform and do the job I do.

I suppose I had better go and do some more work while the sun isn’t shining and it is a pleasant (??) 39 degrees at 11pm!

Thank you so much for the quilt, it will provide me with a beautiful lifelong memory of my first deployment and the quality of people I am here representing.

I hope this finds you both well,

Good morning Sandy,

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that i received the beautiful quilt you and your team made for me.  I can’t express how happy it has turned out and appreciate all the hard work you have put into it.  I understand how time consuming quilts take to make as my grandmother is a quilter as well.  At the moment it is located on my bed but once i return to Australia it will take a place amongst the other quilts we have in our home.

Thank you once again for a beautiful gift, something that i now have to remember my deployment by.

Keep up the great work.

Hello Michelle, 

I would like to pass on my thanks to Erin for her beautifully made laundry bag.
I am a serving Air Force member currently deployed in XXXXX. I am over here for 6 months helping fight the war against ISIS. My role here is as the Commanding Officer of the Australian contingent which is around 25 people. My team provide support to the larger coalition effort by planning and conducting air operations in support of the ground forces.
It is very hot here, around 50degs every day and it is very humid. We shower twice a day and I do a load of washing everyday!! The laundry bag is very good, well made, strong, and the pattern is really nice. It gets a lot of use! 
It was really nice when I first arrived to be given the bag, because it’s just one less thing to have to pack and carry over from Australia! 
Thank you once again for your gesture and I hope you have a great rest of the year. Study hard and do well in your studies. 

Thank you so much for all you do for us folks deployed we truly appreciate your contribution.  I’m a corporal crew attendant in the Air Force. I’m currently posted to the Middle East for 2 months which is pretty lucky compared to most who do a longer stint.   It was so lovely to hear your story and read your lovely letter it was very humbling, I truly love the laundry bag and I’m so grateful for your time and effort. 

Thank you so much. 


Hi Bridget,
I’ve just returned from my post deployment holiday and found my Aussie Hero Quilt waiting for me. 
The design was amazing and it will be a treasured reminder of my time in Afghanistan with my team. 
The quilts have been a big hit with our rotation and everyone who got one has been really pleased to have been thanked in this way. 
Thank you for my special quilt. 
Kindest regards,

Dear Pennie,

I received the laundry bag you made today.  Thank you, it is gorgeous and a wonderful reminder of home; the bush is one of the things I’m missing most over here from Australia.

I am a Doctor with the Air Force, so it was also lovely to hear from a fellow medical practitioner.

Thank you for your time and generosity – it is much appreciated.

Hi Pennie,

I received your quilt that you made for me yesterday and I wanted to write back to you and say thank you so much for the time, energy, thought and creativity that went into making it.
It is certainly the envy of a heap of people that I work with.  I took to around to a heap of work stations so everyone had a chance to admire it.

This is my second deployment, and I have been here since early January.  It feels a long time, but only a couple of months to go.
This was my first deployment and time overseas during ANZAC Day.  This is what particularly made the quilt and the 100th Anniversary patch so special.

So anyway, I wanted to say thanks again for such a beautiful gesture.

Take care and all the best.

Hi Janet,

I have just done the first load of washing with my new laundry bag, and I love it!!  I don’t know how you managed to get the materials to make gherkins, but you did and absolutely nailed it!  I couldn’t be happier with it.

We have a running joke in my squadron that every time someone says anything inaccurate (your husband would have called it duff-gen) they ‘throw a gherkin’.  A person who spins the most colourful stories is ‘launching gherkins’ and being an instructor, by default I am called ‘chief gherkin farmer’.  So you can imagine how much enjoyment and jealousy my new laundry bag has brought to my detachment and I over here.

As your husband would know, the people who deserve the most credit for military service are the spouses and family.  So to you and your husband, I really appreciate the 40.5 years you have given!  (I only have 25 more to equal you 😉 My fiancé is also a registered nurse working in ED.  Hearing about the crazy stories and the insane people that she has had to deal with whilst I am deployed has led me to the belief that nurses are the real heroes and deserve the award and medals more than I do.

I will take the chocolates, Anzac biscuits and minties on my next flight to share with the crew.  I will send some photos of me with my laundry bag once the media people clear them.

I hope and pray that you get the rain you need.

Kind regards,

Dear Kaye,

I received your package with the laundry bag that you sewed for me in it.  Thank you so much for the time and effort you have put into it.  It is better than I could ever have imagined!  I was so excited when I received it, I went around our office area and showed it off to everyone I work with.  I particularly love the camel section.

I am currently writing this from my small office at Camp Taji in Iraq, which I share with five other members of my team.  We have another workspace where the other eight members of my team reside, and although we are spread across a few kilometres, we regularly meet up daily to conduct the day’s work.  That being said, we have been here for almost two months now and are looking forward to another few!  What can I say about the deployment?  Well first of all – it is extremely dusty here!  You can spend a few hours cleaning the office and within a few days another fine layer of dust will be coating everything once again.  It’s also super-hot, the other day it was 50 degrees Celsius!

Luckily for us we also have some really good facilities!  We have two gyms that we have aptly named “The Little Gym” and “The Big Gym” (you can probably guess why!) as well as laundry services.  I’ve already started using the laundry bag you gave me, it’s fantastic!  The laundry bag you’ve sewn me will prevent the number of awkward scenarios I have had so far where my laundry looks like everyone else’s and I accidentally get a strangers clothes handed back to me.  There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to go through the piles of laundry bags because you can’t find your own.

We share the laundry facilities with British and American Soldiers who always comment on our beautiful, colourful laundry bags.  When we explain the premise behind Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags the other Soldiers can’t believe that people back home voluntarily put so much hard work into sewing us something so lovely.  It gives me a real sense of pride to have so much support from people back home like you that we take every opportunity to show our laundry bags off.

Overall the work hours are long but fulfilling, and I know that everyone in the team gets satisfaction from the job.  Knowing that we have the support from others back home rather than just our families and loved ones really helps to keep the morale up.

I know I probably speak for many others, but the work that you do in providing laundry bags and care packages to deployed soldiers is outstanding and should continue to be commended.  From myself and all other soldiers you’ve sewn laundry bags for, thank you for the hard work that you put into each bag.  I am proud to call Australia home and even prouder to display your laundry bag.

Stay safe and enjoy the year.  I promise to do the same!

Thank you,

Well i have to admit that the last message brought a tear to my eye when I read it..

We are making our troops feel valued.. Please keep sewing!

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

Jan-Maree xx

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