Grati-Tuesday 14 May 19

Written by AHQ

14 May 2019

Hi all, 
Here’s hoping you have all had a productive Tuesday and have  few minutes to sit and read these thank you messages.…..

Dear Sue,
I was fortunate to receive one of your amazing quilts while in Afghanistan.
 Firstly I would like to say you have made the most amazing detailed and heart warming quilts. I have been in the country for 3 months to the day I received your package was one of the best.

 I was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity to spend so much of your time for someone across the world, I’m totally humbled.

  I proudly laid the quilt on my bed. It has given this boring room a splash of colour. Your colour scheme of the Australian and Afghan flag were brilliantly done. I have proudly sent pictures to my wife and family who are in awe of your work.

 Back home I am an instructor at the Australian Defence Force Academy. My background has been in aviation where I flew the Blackhawk.

 I managed to get one of the awesome force protection soldiers to take a picture of me outside our Australian mini base. This place is like our lounge room and a wonderful spot to relax amongst other Australians.
 Once again, I thank you for your amazing and heartfelt gift.

 Thank you for your service and charity.


Dear Cath,
I wish to begin by thanking you very much for the lovely laundry bag and treats you sent to me. I arrived for my shift this afternoon and received your parcel including the fabulous laundry bag which you made for me. I never cease to be humbled by the love and support that we are constantly receiving from wonderful Australians such as yourself. I have really enjoyed reading your letter, I sincerely appreciate to opportunity to get to know a bit about the lovely people who put in so much to support us while we are away from home on these   deployments.
We are very lucky with our deployment here at the moment,we have a great team and are in what is a very safe place. Especially when compared to the types of deployments your son did during his time in the ARMY. It is through the efforts and sacrifice of those that have gone beforeus that we can be here to do our job in relative safety and comfort.
I have been with the Air Force for 23 years as an Aircraft Technician. This is the first time I have been deployed, I am over here in a non-trade job so I am not here to fix aircraft. My home unit back in Australia at the moment is 1 Recruit Training Unit in Wagga, but I am looking forwardto being postedback to Newcastle at the end of 2019 to be with my wife and son. My wife is a primary teacher in Nelson bay, my son is 8 years old and just starting year 3.
It is a great idea getting your students in making laundrybags and writingletters to our members serving overseas. It is important for our youngAustralians to gainawareness of what our military does and has been doing for many years to ensure their freedom and security. What you do, and have your students do in sending these laundry bags and letters to serving members who are deployed overseas, provides a real boost to each and every service person who receives one. It is truly something that you and your students should be very proud of and is very much appreciated.
I have really enjoyed reading you letter, (Hope is the most adorable dog). Thank you very much for everything that you have done and sent. I will get many years of use from my fabulous laundry bag, it will be a constant reminder of your generosity and support which you give to so many of our service personnel. I wish you all the best for 2019 and into the future.
Once again thank you very much. Yours Sincerely
Dear Clarissa
I received a wonderful package today with my AHQ laundry bag and some treats. Thank you for the wonderful thoughts and the tireless effort you put into making and sending the bag all the way over here to me.
This is my second deployment here to the Middle East, this first time I never took the opportunity to receive a laundry bag. I’ m glad I did this time as the wonderful work of you, Jan-Maree and all the volunteers that help out really brings a smile.
I’m an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician, and have had a colourful 13 year journey through Defence which I’ve enjoyed. I’ m originally from Perth and that is where my parents are based, I must let my mom know about AHQ as she enjoys handy crafts and has made poppies for the RSL and a quilt for a retiring military working dog. I live with my partner, and our beautiful 10 yo adopted Alaskan Malamute, Ruby. She is a primary teacher and has coped with our first deployment together so well, Ruby helps, she is an amazing dog. We enjoy the outdoors together and I have a never ending passion for motorcycles.
A shame to hear your father in law will no longer participate in ANZAC Day, but I can imagine it is quite a process to organise that for an old man, I have always participated in ANZAC day where I could, since I was a boy. This year again I will be overseas but have to opportunity to represent the likes of your father in law in Jordan, in the citadel, I am immensely proud to do so and would appreciate it if you pass on my thanks to him for his service.
Thank you again for making me a laundry bag I really do appreciate it.
Take care and go well.
Good evening Cath
I was lucky enough to receive two amazing gifts from you in the form of a star wars quilt and my Collingwood laundry bag J
Firstly can I thank you for all the hard work and countless hours you put in so I could receive these gifts, I understand having a full time job how the hours when you get home are valuable
So I cannot thank you enough for the hard work and love and attention you put into these items.
Thank you for the letters you sent me, we have been away for 6 months.
When I walked in the sickbay I saw your boxes there and was so happy to open them, it was a great return to work J, our mail is very very slow here so it takes ages for anything to arrive
It is starting to get really hot so I probably won’t use the quilt for about 2 months but we return to Perth in July and it’s going to be freezing so it’s going to come in so handy.
The laundry bag I have already started using, so once again I can’t thank you enough .
I joined this ship in Dec 2015, I am due to post off the day we return to Australia. I am also the regulator of the Maritime logistics department so I am the senior sailor in charge of all our cooks, stewards, stories and writers which keeps me very busy.
I work with a little team that includes a LEUT medical officer and a Able seaman Medic We are kept very busy looking after the 190 people on our ship and all of their medical issues.  I have been in the navy 17 years after serving in the Army for 4 years as a combat engineer.
I  loved hearing all of your personal stories about your teaching and your students, it sound like you are very passionate about your job which is amazing. I have a cat Logan , and I’m due to get married in October to my finance.
Once again, I cannot thank you enough for all of you efforts.

Dear Jan-Maree,
ADV Cape Inscription Starboard crew is based up here in Cairns, FNQ. Our crew is currently on deployment right now, so as you can imagine, it was a nice surprise to receive a selection Aussie Hero Laundry Bags from the volunteers of your organisation today.
On behalf of my crew, I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank you and your volunteers for your ongoing support to our current serving members not only at sea, but on foreign lands too. It’s the small gestures, such as a laundry bag from one to another, that make us feel appreciated and not forgotten during periods of deployment that puts us afar from our loved ones back home.
Also, we did receive some letters, this was a great personal touch to a gesture that will always be remembered. Can you please pass on my gratitude to your team, please find attached a photo of some fellow shipmates with our new Aussie Hero Bags. I welcome you to share this with all your volunteers too.
I can’t thank you and your team enough
Yours sincerely,

Dear Jennifer,
Today in the Gregorian Calendar it is Monday the 6thof May or in the Afghan Shamshi Calendar it is Doshanbeh 16th of Sawour 1398. In the Islamic Hirji Calendar it is Yawm al-‘ithnayn the 1stof Ramadan 1440. Crazy world we live in. I have a Pocket converter for the dates so that I know what date is being discussed in our meetings with the Afghans.
I never thought in my wildest dreams that when I sent my email to Jan-Maree, I would get such a beautiful work of Art back as a quilt. You are a very talented seamstress and if I remember correctly back to some of my mum’s work, some very good hobbytex work in there as well. I am not sure how you did the Cricketers creed but that was art within art.
I regularly go to Spotlight with my wife, and I will keep an eye out for the wattle material its lovely. She loves quilting as well and your quilt has given her new ideas for our boys and future Grandchildren when that day comes.
I cannot express in words how touched and how grateful I am at receiving such a beautiful and heartfelt gift. I can see in your work that it was made with love and a great deal of thought.
The very fact that you willingly give up your time and at your own expense to make such a magical thing is very special to me and the other service men and women who have been previously touched by your generosity.
May God bless you and your family and thank you very much for your support to us Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen and our Civilian Defence and Government counterparts.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Dear Irene

I received your wonderfully crafted laundry bag on the 11th of April.  It is absolutely wonderful and I cannot thank you enough.  I’m sure you make a lot of laundry bags and quilts for deployed members and I thank you so much for the time and effort you put into doing that.

All the best.

Dear Pennie
Thank you very much for the laundry bag. It will definitely add colour to our cabin. I share with 5 other female officers so it is pretty colourful but something to stand out against the grey uniforms is great. As for the llama’s – I love it!
The fabric was worth lining up for. I enjoyed your description of “cocaine for sewers”. We have been quite successful with drug busts in the last five months, but it has been the ‘hard’ stuff and not fabric remnants. If we should stumble across any (fabric remnants) I will know who to dispose of it to.

It is not possible to do this job without the support of friends and family back home. So thank you very much for your support and the effort of yourself and other Aussie Hero quilters go to. It is genuinely appreciated.
The quilt is amazing. The amount of hours that go into these creations must be large. I love it.

When I put all those options down it was more with the thought  that there would be one thing there that someone will also enjoy/like  and therefore get more pleasure out of making it. So to have ALL OF THEM IS AMAZING! It truly is a farm away from home. I love the pre bacon concept (piggies) – good thinking!

Doggos are not plentiful in the Middle East and those that are here are not really the patting kind. It’s the thing I have really missed the most since being away (family of course, but we can skype etc so that makes it easier)
It’s hard to find one favourite thing about the quilt, but the standout has to be the square with Bundaberg and toowoomba on it. I grew up in Kingaroy and frequented those places. I also find myself defending the fine sugarcane product  – Bundaberg rum. The fact it has appeared on my quilt has gotten many laughs.This week marks less than 100 days left of our deployment. It has been a long time away. It will be 9 months in total plus the 12 months we spent preparing to deploy. The excitement around this increased dramatically with the arrival of the mail. Most people received their dhoby bags and quilts and are proudly showing them off.
The only space that is truly yours is your bunk. Now that I have my own farm on it, the last 90 sleeps will be more enjoyable.
Thanks again for your efforts. They really bring joy and happiness to us.
Dear Melissa,

Thank you so much for the amazing quilt. The design captures the specifics that I had asked for and it will be a proud memento of my time on Ballarat, deployed on operations.  I also loved your in-depth letter.

I have been in the Navy for 9 years with this being my second Middle East Deployment along with further deployments through North/South East Asia, Christmas Island and searching for missing plane MH370.

My core job on board Ballarat is the Personnel Officer and manage all admin/logistics/finance/pay and other bits and bobs.

I enjoyed reading about your  family and in particular all the footy stories considering I played most of my football for Knox Football Club back in Melbourne and also have a keen interest in Basketball too.

I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your eldest son who is in Army Cadets and has an interest in working in the Armed Forces.

Again, thank you so much for the quilt, it is greatly appreciated and it is great to see people care about us back home.

Dear Su,
I received a wonderful package today with my AHQ quilt and some treats.  Thank you for the wonderful thoughts and the tireless effort you put into making and sending the quilt all the way over here to me.
This is my second deployment here to the Middle East, the first time I never took the opportunity to receive a quilt.  I’m glad I did this time as the wonderful work of you, Jan-Maree and all the volunteers that help out really brings a smile.  I have been absolutely blown away with the thought and effort that has gone into this quilt.  The pineapple, I guess in this instance….last year we deployed on an exercise in North Queensland, unfortunately it was a month long exercise in waiting around, somewhat wasting time, unfortunately sometimes in Defence these things happen but we all take it in our stride and in expecting this I packed a neon pineapple lamp and attached a pineapple bike horn to the bumper of our 4wd, christening it “The Pineapple Express”.  Typical defence humour it is more of a comment on what can be quite a pain in the ass that is defence life away from home.  These things bring morale to the troops and every time someone walked past the bike horn, it was squeezed bringing laughs.
Upon receiving your quilt I have a few weeks left closing out several months, and we are quickly approaching ANZAC Day.  This year again I will be overseas, but have the opportunity to represent the fallen in Jordan in the citadel.  I am immensely proud to do so and am humbled by people like you that attend services and volunteer to help with morale for deployed troops.
Thank you again for making me a quilt, I really do appreciate it.  You have done an amazing job, the flames are perfect!  I will be sure to trim any loose ends, it’s somewhat ingrained, I can remember my grandmother telling me off very vigorously about the proper care of quilts!
Take care and go well.


Dear Pennie,

Let me just start by saying a big thank you. The quilt you have made is perfect, everything I could imagine. Today I received your package, means even more to me that you got it ready to send on ANZAC day itself. I opened it up at work all the boys and myself couldn’t believe what we saw, they were all immediately jealous of my new game of thrones quilt. I love game of thrones and have read all the books  (A song of ice and fire) I’m lucky at work that we have a few leather lounges set up with a big TV to enjoy watching it every Monday after or sometimes during work. Only 2 more episodes to go so will need to find something else to look forward to each week.

I have now been deployed in the middle east for a bit over 2 months… counting down the days until I go on leave to visit Greece and Turkey which I plan to see the Greek islands, Gallipoli and take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. I will also get to spend my birthday on the Greek islands turning 31. This is my first deployment after 5 years in the Army as a Telecommunications Technician. I am deployed into a position called the Theatre Installation Detachment which is a great spot in that I could be tasked to do jobs in any part of the middle east…In fact in the not to distant future I am heading to Afghanistan for a few weeks, I can’t wait to help the boys over there and do the tasks we are sent to achieve. 

Thank you once again for sacrificing your time to help out Aussie hero quilts, I’m sure if you happen to make any more the recipient will be overcome with joy.

sincères amitiés,

Good Afternoon Beverley, Gail and Jan-Maree,
I just wanted to let you know I have received one of your organisation’s quilts during our last port visit, an exceptionally well made Collingwood one at that.
Beverley – Thank you so much, having grown up in country Victoria, AFL and sports in general have always been a large part of my life. The quilt you have made is by far the best piece of Collingwood memorabilia I now have. It has already become a permanent fixture on a bed on the ship and will be used just as much once we return home. Thank you for sharing the story of you and your family and how you have become involved in the cause. I to hope to one day be in a position where I can Grey Nomad around our beautiful country like you and your husband have.
Thank you all for the tremendous work you do, it literally made my day when I opened the package and what was inside. I can’t imagine it’s easy to track multiple Defence Units spread far and wide across the globe whilst also organising all the wonderful people back home who produce such outstanding quilts and laundry bags.
If you have ever wondered what we do with the quilts when we get home I am happy to inform you that they don’t just go in a cupboard . My wife received a quilt on HMAS Toowoomba in 2012 whilst deployed in the Middle East, ever since receiving the quilt it has been constantly used. On board her ship the quilt took pride of place on her bed, after her deployment ended the quilt was moved to our bed at home. The quilt was the first thing packed into her hospital bag when she was pregnant with our first child, a son, (5) and again when our daughter (2) was born. Whilst it is now starting to show the signs of being constantly used for the past 7 years it lives on our main couch in our lounge room where it is used almost daily, especially during winter.
Aussie Hero Quilts are the best.



Hi Sue,
Thank you so much for the “Swans” Laundry bag. It is, for the lack of a better word, AWESOME!!
You have really made my trip.
 Being away from my wife and 2 boys is tuff, but you have helped make it easier.
Again thankyou for all you do and the time you spend making these great Items.

 Your friend
One for a quilt made by Cath Hpr

Good morning Jan,
I’m so thrilled to let you know my beautiful quilt made it safe and sound. I absolutely love it, a lot of time and effort has been put into it and I really appreciate it. I will treasure it always.
Please pass on my up-most thanks and appreciation to all the ladies that give up their own time, materials and effort to make this possible.
Have a lovely day.

Su J
Thank you so much for putting your time and efforts into making this amazing quilt. It is perfect. It went straight into my mozzie net in my room. I have a mozzie net in my room because malaria is rife in South Sudan where I am deployed and the mosquitoes have come on strong due to the impending wet season. I took the quilt for a test drive last night and it proved comfortable.

If you don’t mind I’ll share the chocolates with my international friends here. Easy way to make friends.  Thanks again for the fantastic quilt and bag. I’ll wear holes in it from use. Stay well Su.


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

Jan-Maree xx

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