Grati-Tuesday 18 Feb 2020

Written by AHQ

18 February 2020

Hey all, 

Greetings from lovely Canberra.   I have come down to progress the quest for Aussie Heroes to become a charity and also to have dinner at the Hotel where our Annual Thank You Dinner will be held this year. Yes, we have locked in a venue and will soon release the date!

Watch this space!

And now you can enjoy the thank you messages. 


This is Major XXXX, emailing all the way from Kabul, Afghanistan!

I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I have received the glorious Essendon Bombers hero quilt sent to me by Aprils Artistry. It has brightened my room up and reminds me of home. 
Thank you for the hard work that has gone into making this for me. It means a great deal to us soldiers that people are thinking about us when we are deployed overseas. This has given me a big smile and for that I am truly grateful. I would be very appreciative if my sincere thanks could be passed on to April’s Artistry. 



Dear Sue,
Thank you so much for your amazing quilt! I really appreciate all the time and effort you’ve put into it. I was blown away with all the detail, and this will now be a keepsake. I’m very close to returning home from deployment number 4, and I can honestly say receiving your quilt has been one of the best days of all my trips.
 I hope you and your family had a good Christmas and the cats didn’t get too spoit.
 Thanks again.

Dear Bridget
Hi, I am 20 years old. I have two younger brothers that live in QLD.  I loved the quilt you made me. I got sausage dogs because I have a miniature dachshund called Dorito. I know how much time and effort it takes to make the quilts so it means a lot to myself all the effort and love you put into make these quilts for us ADF people deployed.   I am an operator mover so I coordinate movements of people and cargo. I hope you have an amazing Christmas and an even greater NY.


Dear Jenny,
Thank you very much for My amazing quilt!! It was exactly what I wanted. I wanted a bear/s because my trade in the Army get called bears. I am an Electronics warfare Sig.
I hope you enjoy my token of appreciation

Dear Sandy, Jeanette, Beth, Violet and any/all members of the Aussie Heroes Sewing Team!!

Hello all the way from Juba, South Sudan! I’m so happy to be able to write to you and thank you personally for the Absolutely AWESOME quilt you all made for me – honestly it turned out so much better than I could ever have imagined on my own, and I love it!

I mentioned to Jan-Maree that I have known of the wonderful work Aussie Hero Quilts do for many years now, I loved the quilt my brother received when deployed to Afghanistan so I was very excited to receive my own – I really can’t emphasise enough how moved and impressed I am by what you all do; the positive impact these quilts and laundry bags have when you’re away from home, and having someone put such a personal touch into making something so comforting really does mean the world to me. Everyone is so excited to see an Aussie Hero package arrive in the mail and I was certainly no exception!

I am an Army officer currently working as a Geospatial Analyst within the Joint Mission Analysis Centre of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. This basically means I make maps: anything that can be located on the ground I can put on a map for the analysts and planners to do something with. It’s a very busy and interesting job and Juba is a very diverse and interesting place, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to have this experience, and to have lovely people like you looking after us from home! I am married to D, he is also in the Army, and is currently deployed to Iraq as a project engineer. We don’t have any children yet, but we do have a Kelpie, Foxy, who we spoil just as much. She is a former search dog and she keeps us very busy.

Thank you for telling me a little about your group – any activity that involves friends, fun and food is #1 in my book! I grew up in Qld and lived there my whole life until I joined the Army at 18, my Mum and Dad still live there and I get home every chance I get to visit.
Hope you are all staying safe and avoiding the bushfires! Thank you again for your wonderful gift and the incredible difference this piece of home makes to ADF members overseas.


To Jenni,

First of all I’d like to apologise for taking so long to get back to you! We returned to Australia on the 23rd of January and I’ve been in Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra catching up with family.

I want to thank you for your amazing work. The laundry bag is fantastic and will be put to good use, I can assure you that.

I’m currently sitting in Sydney Airport about to go to Japan for a week of snowboarding so on my return to Newcastle I promise I’ll send through a picture with the bag!

Once again thank you so much.


Dear Irene,

I want to first apologise for taking so long to get in touch. We returned to Australia on the 23rd of January and I’ve been in Newcastle, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney catching up with friends and family.

The quilt was fantastic. Absolutely loved it. The Wedgetail Eagle really gives it that kick that I wanted and to hear that you have them around your property is almost too good to be a coincidence. I am very happy to be your 74th recipient and I truly hope you continue the amazing work you do well into the 100’s!

Once again, a huge thank you for your amazing work.



Hello Ellen,

Yesterday I received your amazing quilt in the mail. I am extremely impressed with it – it’s a work of art and I will take care of it for many years to come.

I have been in the Army since 2013 and have spent time posted to Darwin and Brisbane. 

I have previously spent time in East Timor as part of the health team for engineering/nation building exercises. 

Thank you very much for your hard work and generosity. Receiving your quilt has brightened my week and will be a happy reminder of my trip. I wish you all the best with your travels!

Hello Jenny and Steve,

I wanted to write this email to say thank you so much for the laundry bag and the letter you sent me. It was a great moral lift and l appreciate it. Where ever you go there will always be dirty laundry, so it will not go unused.
I can’t say much in the way of what I’m doing but l can say it’s pretty cold over here. The weather at the moment is down to minus 15 deg and snowing. So the Christmas weather here was a lot different to what I’m used too.
Thank you once again for taking the time to make me a laundry bag.


Dear Alex,
Thank you so much for the wonderful quilts and gifts! I absolutely love the quilt. I cannot believe that it is your first one! It is everything I had hoped for. You managed to capture all the good memories I am taking home with me . . . The fact that I was deployed to the Middle East Region, the Tri-service environment and my love of art – using all the colours I adore!

As a token of my appreciation I have included a Joint Task Force 633 coin. I hope it is your first. It is forged in the tradition of comradeship and I present this as a memento of the mateship we now share and my appreciation of your service.

I cannot wait to show my family and please know that receiving your quilt is like receiving a medal. It is with great pride that we display our quilts back home. It is very humbling receiving such a work of art which clearly took a long time and great talent.

Being in the MER is a great experience even though I miss my family – I am however with my deployed family.

Thank you again for the gifts! The journal will be used to draw a ‘treasure chest’ of MER memories!

Today I was a very lucky recipient of your beautiful quilt. 
I’m 29 & have been in the Navy for 4 years. 

Your quilt is absolutely beautiful & brightens up my hospital room & I’m very thankful for the hours upon hours you have put in to create this quilt. 

Your quilt keeps me warm at just the right temperature! My mum quilts so I know just how much effort you put into this quilt. 

I really enjoyed reading your letter & I loved that you were a nurse, I never realised what nursing really entailed, it appears to be at times a thankless job. So thank you for your 42 years that you gave! 

Thank you again for your quilt I love it! 


Hi Bridget,

Thank you so much for my blanket and laundry bag! The kids love them lol. I just completed my 6th deployment to the MER and this is the first time that a received a blanket from Aussie Heroes. I defiantly is a morale booster for the team to have these beautiful blankets sent over.

I deploy in support of the KC-30A Aircraft which is a re-fuelling aircraft in the sky. I have a wife and 3 beautiful children aged 7, 5 and 9 months. My wife does it tough with a young family but has plenty of support from her parents.

Again, thank you so very much for your support of the troops.

Dear Marilyn,

My laundry bag arrived to Afghanistan 2 days ago. I really appreciate the effort you have gone to to make it and I love it. We had a pretty good Christmas and tried hard to make it special. They flew in some big prawns and meat. We tried to teach the Americans how to play cricket. It’s never quite the same being way from family and friends but we made the most of it.

The time has gone pretty fast. I will head home in March. It has been snowing and is pretty cold. The one good thing about the snow is that the pollution improves. I normally work as a nurse practitioner in a hospital in Northern Queensland so I am used to the heat! I work in emergency so there is never a dull moment. I am not as busy here as I normally am at home. I also work casually for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. I used to work with them in Brisbane and enjoy getting out of the hospital.

I am married with no children. I grew up in Northern Ireland and came to Australia with my parents and brother and sister at the end of 1980.  I live very close to the beach and do miss walking my dog along the beach. My husband is a doctor and also in the Army Reserves. He spent a few months last year in Iraq. We also both work with the Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT) and tend to be kept busy from time to time responding to disasters (mainly overseas) Australia has certainly had it’s fair share of disaster with the current fires – I do hope you were not affected.

Anyway Marilyn, once again many thanks for the lovely laundry bag and all the beautiful gifts you included. It really brightened my day and I will share around the biscuits,

Take care,

Hi Marilyn,

Thank you very much for my parcel of goodies and the fabulous laundry bag, it really was a lovely surprise.

I am sorry for the late reply, I received the parcel at the beginning of January after I returned from my leave. I was very lucky to have Christmas with my family. My son was extremely excited as I was home to spoil him.

I have been in the Army for 23 years. I am an Ammunition Technician and I am responsible for the management of explosive ordnance within the Middle East region.

My family has just relocated to NSW for my next posting, previously we were located in Townsville. My husband has since retired from the Army and is busy being a stay at home dad. Our son is five and starts foundation this year.

I hope you and your family had a great Christmas and haven’t been affected by the bush fires.

Thank you again for my parcel. once my deployment is completed I have promised the laundry bag for my son, he is obsessed about dinosaurs.

Take care,

Dear Marilyn,

Thank you very much for my laundry bag! I am an Army Signal Corps Electronic Warfare operator. My dad and both grandfathers were in the defence force, two in the Army and one in the RAAF. I am glad that my Melbourne Storm laundry bag came from a Melbourne Storm family.

I would have liked to get this to you much sooner however due to being in a remote location I was unable to get mail out.

Dear Ruth,
I’m writing to let you know that I have finally received the beautiful laundry bag you made for me. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to make it – your design, the koala with the red, white and blue colours, are far better than I could have envisaged, yet exactly what I was after – It is perfect!
I am now here in XXXX, which has been about as different to living in Australia that I could imagine. Winter is almost over though, the snow is melting and the weather is warming. It is also an exciting time to be here, with the first real prospect of peace (at least in some form) imminent. The Aussie team here has been great, and is certainly pulls more than its weight. That said, I’m certainly looking forward to getting home to my wife and two young daughters – it has been a long, hard slog for them in my absence.
I hope that you and your friends and family have not been adversely affected by all the fires and now floods – the fires and the devastation caused has been the topic of much discussion here, even with the locals I’ve worked with. Coming from the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, it was not a good summer for us, but fortunately unlike previous fires, none of my family and friends lost their homes.
Thank you again for your efforts, as this is something both me and my family will treasure well into the future.

Kind regards

That is all for tonight! Till next time… keep spreading the word and happy stitching! 
Jan-Maree xx 

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