Grati-Tuesday 20 June 2017

Written by AHQ

20 June 2017

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful support you give us. This has been my first deployment & it was a big decision to make as a reservist (as I had the ability to say no).

It has been a life changing experience to have met and worked with the amazing people here. Even though our conditions are not as difficult as further in country we all work at a high tempo. We suffer the same homesickness & watch as our families continue on whilst we are away. Sometimes this is really hard, so the beautiful quilts you make alllow us to curl up under them at night and dream of all our happy memories of home. It is such a huge comfort & we all appreciate the huge amount of love that goes into each and every unique quilt.

Thank you so much for your kindness & hard work.

And now for the photos of my beautiful quilt crafted by Fran, the photos don’t do it justice:


Packing to go back to sea and I picked up my laundry bag!!! A big thank you to Jan-Maree and Aussie hero quilts.  I love it, and will use it.


Dear Debbie 

I have received my quilt. There are no words to describe how grateful I am. I was like a little kid when my gift arrived. You have done an outstanding job with my quilt. 

The reason I chose Bora Bora is because my favourite colour is blue and then the island itself is just amazing. 

Just a little something about myself. I have joined the navy 5 years ago and this has been my first deployment to the MER. its not too long now and I would be back home with my family. 

But thank you for taking the time to create something amazing we appreciate all the time and the effort you put in for us. 

Thank you for your letter I enjoyed reading it 

Have a wonderful day and you again 

God bless 


Hi Helen

I would like to thank you for the quality Aussie Hero Quilt that you and your mother made for me. I love it and it means so much to me , it is a beautiful memory that I will take from this place and cherish for ever.  I am so proud to serve my country and people like yourself and your mother make me more proud to be Australian. My mother also does a lot of quilt work and she absolutely loved my quilt that you have made.
Once again thank you with all my heart and thanks to your mother as well, I hope life treats you and your family well.


Dear Clarissa,

My sincerest thanks to you for my beautiful laundry bag.
It certainly put a smile on my face and gives me a daily reminder of my girls whenever I use it.  I think my youngest will be sure to steal it from me when I return home!

I don’t think yourself and the others that do wonderful work for Aussie Hero Quilts truly understand how appreciative we all are for the work you do.
There is a huge buzz around camp as personnel receive their little parcel to help brighten their room and lives here.

Thank you for your continued support and great efforts.

Kind regards,

Dear Jean,

I recently received the laundry bag you made for me. Thank you very much I really appreciate the gift, it lifted my morale.

This is my fifth deployment and third to Afghanistan. I have served our great country for 18 years and still love my job except for being away from my wife and boys. 

Gifts like you have sent me are fantastic and make us all so happy. Thank you for taking the time to make mine and the other laundry bags for other members.

Yours sincerely,

Good evening Ally,

Thankyou so much for the quilt! Its better than I could have imagined. This is my second trip overseas with defence and I wish that I had heard about these quilts on my first deployment, they really are amazing and both the quilt and washing bag are getting use already. There are a few members from my squadron that also received their quilts and we really do appreciate what you and the other volunteers put together for us. Thankyou again.

A bit about me!

I am currently posted to 2 Squadron and based out of Newcastle, NSW. I was born and raised in XXXX and lived in the same house until I joined defence. I have spent a few years in Canberra at ADFA, and then in training to eventually qualify. I have been in defence for nearly 8 years now and have been loving every moment of it.

Thank you again for the quilt and goodies. It really does put a massive smile on all of our faces over here. We definitely feel that Australians do care for us and these types of gifts and thoughts for us really solidify our view that we are doing something right in this world.

Thank you Ally and all the best with your grandchildren and of course your real baby, the mini.


G’day Jan-Maree and Janis,

I just wanted to send you both an email to thank you for the amazing quilt that I received in the mail on my return from leave.

It truly is a work of art and I am very thankful for all the time, effort and consideration that has gone into making it.

This is something that I will keep forever, reminding me of this deployment, and the people at home who care deeply about supporting those in the ADF who are away from home.

The RAA Corps badge is absolutely fantastic and is by far my favourite element of the quilt!

I am also a big fan of the Australian flag, the soccer ball/cricket bat, and the poppies… I had to explain to my American colleagues what the cricket bat was!

I will send you both a photo of me with the quilt in the next few days!

Janis, your family sounds great and thank you for sharing a bit of information about them with me.

This is my first deployment in almost 9 years in the ADF and it has been an amazing experience for me.

Thank you for making this quilt for me… it would be great to catch up with you when I return home to say thank you in person.

Good morning Ruth,

I received the Laundry bag in the mail today. Usually receiving anything in the mail is enough to put a smile on my face however your package has brightened my entire week. I absolutely love the Laundry bag.

I appreciate the difficulty it took for you to put a Carlton emblem on the bag, especially being a Port supporter :). Being a New South Welshman I grew up playing and watching Rugby Union, I was introduced to AFL by my Grandpa who played for Carlton reserves in his younger days. So by association I became a Blues supporter. It gave me an opportunity to spend time with him watching the games together.  

Thanks once again for the bag it will remind me of my Grandpa and definitely brighten up my room and my deployment.

Kind regards.

Dear Mae,

Thank you so very much for your amazing quilt, laundry bag and gifts.
You are so very kind.  My friend organized this, it was such a wonderful surprise to receive your packages in the mail.

I’ve just passed the halfway mark and really miss home.  Your quilt really brightens my room, I absolutely love it and feel so blessed that you made it for me.

All the Soldiers here really appreciate all the love and support we receive.

Thank you again Mae.

Dear Gail,

I received your quilt and laundry bag earlier this month.

I have been here since September.  It was bloody hot then and took a couple of weeks to adjust.  Part of the routine is getting the laundry done.  I work 12 hour shifts, 6 day weeks normally.  Sometimes longer hours and sometimes no day off.  

Anyway, we get the washing done when we can find the time during the weeks.  I was completely unprepared for it until I received your laundry bag.
I lugged my washing the 150 metres from my tent over the blue metal in my thin double plugger thongs in a plastic Woolies shopping bag.
I did manage to convince the Yanks that Woolworths is a fashion designer label.
Now I have my own laundry bag I am as pleased as punch, thank you.  It is a personal treasure.  It is easy to spot the Aussies in the laundry block.
There are about 50 washing machines and dryers and the Aussies place their folded bags on top of the machines.  The Yanks are green with envy for what we have.
The Americans have the USO and a number of other social welfare projects to keep them sane over here, but they don’t get laundry bags like we do.
Quality over quantity in every sense.

Now that it is winter, the nights are cooling down.  No snow, and soon though, the rains will come to convert all the fine sand and dust which covers everything into silt and sludge.  I look forward now to returning and snuggling under my unique quilt.  I was taken aback at the level of personalization involved in the design of my quilt, especially the reproduction in cloth of the photographs!  It’s marvelous, truly.

In a few weeks I go home at last.  I am on the wind down.  My time here has had its ups and downs, and its little things like the laundry bag and quilt which can mean a lots to someone over here.  Something tangible and practical, a slice of home.  It is a noble thing what you are all doing for us, and I thank you sincerely.

Thank again and I wish you all the best.

Dear Kathy W 

 I would like to thank you for your efforts in creating a quilt for me while I am currently deployed overseas on Operation Okra.  Operation Okra is the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to the international effort to combat the Daesh (also known as ISIL) terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria.

From my family and I, please accept this thank you for all your efforts, not only for the laundry bag you made for me, but for all the efforts ladies like you make to produce these bags and quilts for not only members of my team, but for the wider ADF deployed.

Dear Jan-Maree,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Bev and Bridget for the amazing job that you did on my quilt.  I think it is amazing and I truly appreciate the work that you all put into it.  It will always be a special reminder for me of my first deployment with the ADF.  I would also like to personally thank you for all your work in founding and running the Aussie Hero Quilts organisation.  The work you do really is appreciated by deployed members, I can attest to that, but I have also witnessed the joy members of my team and the wider organisation have displayed when they have received one of your quilts and/or laundry bags.  Your efforts and work is very much appreciated.

As for myself, I have been a member of the RAAF for a little under 20 years.  I spent the first 15 as an Air Surveillance Operator, with stints in Recruiting and as a Recruit Instructor, and the past 5 years as a Logistics Officer.  Although I have spent 20 years in Defence this is my first deployment, a long one of seven and a half months to make up for it.  In fact this was the first time I had left Australian shores in a work capacity, so I consider it very memorable.

I am married to a wonderful primary school teacher who is very supportive of my role.  I have spent a lot of time away in my career despite never deploying and she has always been by my side supporting me all the way.  We have three children, two boys and a girl aged 6, 4 and 3 (by a number of days), so my wife has had her hands very full.  I am very keen to get home and see them all and spend some time with them.  I have spent 9 of the last 10 months away so I am looking forward to some extended time at home with them.

Again thank you for all your hard work and dedication, it is inspiring what you and all the team at Aussie Hero Quilts do.  Finally, thank you for my quilt, I love what you have done; it will always be a reminder of my first opportunity to serve my country on foreign soil.

Thank you and kind regards,

Dear Jess,

I am writing this card to say thank you for all the effort that you went to in making for me a lovely ‘Aussie Hero Quilt’.
It really means a lot to members of the ADF like myself to receive such gifts. My wife is a self taught s seamstress so I know how much time and passion goes into making such an item. 

Thank you once again, 

Dear Pennie,

I am writing to thank you for the Aussie Hero Quilt and Laundry Bag.  The Canberra Raiders logo and beer glasses turned out fantastic, and I am extremely pleased with it.

Your Aussie Hero Quilt and laundry bag will be put to good use when I get back home to Australia, just in time for footy season!
I look forward to sitting on the couch with my two boys watching the Rugby League, although they are Knights and Roosters fans.
Your support and dedication towards the welfare of ADF members is humbling and highly commendable.

While I am proud to serve in the Royal Australian Air Force; it is gestures like this that make me proud to be Australian.

I truly am grateful for people like yourself and your continued support to those who serve.

Dear Ginny,

Thank you so very much for all the time and effort that you put into making my beautiful quilt.
I adore it and it represents everything that I do whilst deployed into this part of the world.
The extra stitch work with my name and operation details just makes it more special, creating a lasting memory.
It’s amazing and thank you again.

Our time is quickly coming to an end and we are currently preparing for the next crew to arrive.  We are very much looking forward to returning to our families.

It was lovely to hear that you are a G.P.  I am a Registered Nurse who specialises in Peri-op. I enlisted into the Army Reserves 19 years ago, and just last January I transferred over to the full-time Army.  I have worked in many public hospitals over my career, but just recently I needed a change – hence making the Army my career and landing myself this deployment.

I also quilt and sew, knit and crochet.  I have contacted Julie-Ann and let her know that I’d love to join AHQ as well, however maybe next year!
That will give me a bit of time to catch up with the family.

Thank you for all the lovely words in your letter.  We are all the same, we all love our families and being away from them is incredibly difficult.

God Bless you too Ginny and thank you again.


Hi Anne!

I have just received my amazing quilt and laundry bag you have made for me! I absolutely love it!! Thank you so so much for the time you have put in to make this just for me! I can see in your letter just how much this means to you. I love the colours you have chosen, it definitely brightens up my little room here in AMAB. 
And it was so lovely to read your letter as well and know a bit about you and your family.

Once again thank you very much for my quilt, we get so excited when we receive care packages in the mail. It makes our day! 

All the best, and thank you for thinking of us over here. 

Kind Regards


Good Evening Mrs Anne

I am writing this email to thank you for sewing and sending my laundry bag (and the pen and Tim Tams too).

The feeling of receiving a package here is hard to describe and to have something hand made and with a personal letter  makes it even more special.

I truly appreciate the effort you have made to make and send this package to me and the other packages that you no doubt have sent to other members over time.

I trust you are enjoying the pleasant weather in Brisbane, it is around 43-46 degrees Celsius here at the moment so I am missing the Aussie weather a bit.

Thank you again for your time and effort and take care.

Kind Regards 

Hello Thelma,
Thankyou very much for the hero quilt it made my day!!

I’m currently serving  in Afghanistan as a PMV driver otherwise known as a ‘Bushmaster’

Thank you very much again it means a lot for us soldiers over here when we recieve things from back home and from complete strangers to go out of their way is awesome!!! I will truly cherish this quilt you have made for me. Also I love ‘Billabong Hotel’ it works perfectly with me because there isn’t much I love more than sitting at the pub enjoy a few cold one’s.

Dear Joan & Robin

I would like to thank you both for the effort and the time you put in to give all the ADF members a gift. It has brighten up our days receiving our laundry bags and quilts.
We are excited for each other to see the wonderful work that you have been doing for each and everyone one of us and there are no words to describe what it has meant to me.
I am also sorry that it has taken this long to reply to you but I have kept your letter safe in my locker so that I could thank you guys. I love my laundry bag and all the colours, you have done a great job.
I am pretty sure that we will be taking a group photo soon but if not I will take a photo and post it on facebook ASAP.
 I would just like to let you know that it has meant a lot to me and my fellow ship mates.

Thank you again and have a wonderful day
God bless


I am writing to thank you for making my quilt.
I received it about a week ago and I’m stoked. It completely exceeded my expectations. The other lads in the section have got theirs too and they’re just as pleased as I am. I’d just like to say that I really appreciate the effort yourself and others have gone to to make me my quilt and laundry bag. It made my day when I received them.
Thank you again.

G’Day Lynn and Arthur,

Thank you very much for the personalized quilt and morale parcel. It was a pleasant surprise and very welcome boost to my flagging morale; as the past week has been particularly bad in Afghanistan, as you will have seen on the news. The Australian contingent is working extremely hard here to help the people of Afghanistan; as are all the NATO countries who provide support. You can be assured that the women and men of the ADF are doing their bit to ensure that our country can be proud of our efforts here on behalf of the Australian Government and people.

 I count myself and my family to be extremely privileged to come from the lucky country that we now call home. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to think of me and other service personnel whilst we are overseas, very much appreciated.

Lynn and Arthur – I have been given two fantastically coloured and constructed laundry bags, with contact notes included, so I wish to thank you both. 

Recently a representative group from the Quilts for Service group (I may have that group name wrong, but you get the idea) visited HQ Joint Operations Command, near Bungendore NSW. 
We had a small reception for them. They have presented a magnificent quilt wall hanging, featuring the three service crests and iconic images. It is now hanging in pride of place right next to the bar in out combined Mess. (Which does not get used often enough in my mind, but we are busy, and I digress). 
Anyhow, I tried and failed to force jam and scones on our visitors, and they were more interested in talking to us, which was very kind. 
Later, I was talking to one of the padres, ‘cos they always get involved for a free feed at morning tea. 
Actually they had coordinated the visit to allow our Admiral to thank the support group. I mentioned to the padre that my tour in AFG had three of the six months daily ave temps over 50°, not much call for quilts. When I was there I was given a pen turned from Aussie timber by a mens’ shed support group. 
He promptly whipped out a small package of your two bags, and said that your group was thinking all the time, and these were for people who had missed out. 
How good is that? 

I really appreciated the effort, as I did for the men’s shed pen; and we all appreciate the support to ADF from you both, and your group. 
Duty First

Hello Helen and Pat, I received your quilt today and I would just like to say thank you so much. It is amazing and i am in love with it. Its has brought much needed moral and happiness not just to me but everyone around me, i have shown at least 30-50 from New Zealanders to the Britts and it has brought a smile and a few tears of joy to all of their faces. I can not thank you enough for the amazing job you both have done, It will brighten my room and every time i walk into my room it will remind me of a day at the beach with dachshund charlie. I am in the process of getting a photo with the quilt once i do i will send it to you. Once again thank you so much i LOOOOVVVEEE it, it put the biggest smile one my face and a few tears as well. THANK YOU

Hi Sue,
I’m writing this to show my thanks for the support you provide with sewing up the laundry bag I have received. 
I’m a 31 year old, father of 11 month old twin girls. My role here in the UAE, is to maintain the RAAF air to air refuelling aircraft.  Currently in the second week of deployment. Missing the girls and my wife so much already. The facilities set up to keep in regular contact with loved ones back home are awesome.  
Thank you so much for the help and support you provide to all deployed troops. 

Kind regards,

Hey Kaye,
Thank you so much for my Laundry bag, looks great and I’ve used it everyday since receiving it. Been a while since I could reply but I appreciate the fantastic work you’ve done. It’ll be one of those things that I’ll keep forever and if I ever come back over here to the Middle East it’ll be the first thing I pack. 
Thanks again for your work it definitely makes our time over here that bit better. 

Dear Alison McL,
I wanted to thank you for the laundry bag I received from you. We collected them about a month ago. It certainly was a lovely gesture and the whole ships crew appreciated them. From the looks of the ship’s laundry mine is not the only one that has not been put to good use! 

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

Jan-Maree xx

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