Grati-Tuesday 21 May 19

Written by AHQ

21 May 2019

G’day all.  

Check out these messages.  
They will put smiles on your faces like we are putting on the faces of our recipients. 

Just received this today!!!! It’s awesome. You have such fabulously talented people volunteering so much time and skill to putting smiles on our faces. My heartiest thanks.


Hi Bridget
Thank you so much for my laundry bag & quilt. I love them so much. I sent you a card back today but wanted to send you photos via email so you could see me on my paddle board with my dog Diesel.
He is a 3 year old Bordoodle (border collie x poodle). He is an awesome dog & I miss him so much. 
I also loved your letter, my god daughter has been doing nursing for just over 2 years now, I’m very proud of her. She can look after me when I get real old. 
I really appreciate your service & time that you give to Aussie Hero Quilts, it means a lot to us over here. Everyone loves showing everyone their Quilts & LB when they arrive. I can’t thank you enough you have made my day, plus it’s an early birthday pressie to me

Dear Wendy and Lynn,

I can’t thank you both enough for the outstanding job you did on my surprise quilt. I had heard about Aussie Hero Quilts from one of my colleagues with whom I’m currently deployed. I certainly was not expecting my own laundry bag and truly impressive quilt to arrive whilst out here.  I especially love the Archaeopteryx. It was one of my favourite dinosaurs as a child and an image I still find alluring. 

Many thanks also for the lovely letters. It sounds odd but letters from home regardless of where they come from are a blessing. They remind you of home and the good fortune we enjoy in our lucky country, which is always nice. Especially when I get so many opportunities to see less lucky parts of the world!

I have to admit I was expecting to enjoy this deployment (my sixth) but not to the degree that has occurred. I’m working in a mentoring role with Iraqi Special Forces at their headquarters level and it is genuinely challenging and greatly rewarding work. 

Thanks again for your impressive efforts – they are really appreciated!

Kind Regards,

G’day Ash

Just wanted thank you for the amazing quilt that you have made me. The work you have put in is stunning and the quality is 2nd to none. The work that you and the Aussie Quilts do is amazing and your work has made it here to the middle East with a few of my fellow soldiers receiving them. 
Haha on my 2nd year out of high school I joined the Army and am still here 11 years later, so choose something you want to do and chase it. I have a friend who does early childhood education in Townsville QLD and she absolutely loves working with the little tackers, has a blast everyday with them. 

Once again thank you for the amazing quilt and keep up the great work, hope you start studying early childhood education soon.

Kind regards,

Dear Kate,
I wanted to say a huge “Thank you” for my Quilt. I absolutely love it. I apologise for the delay in responding as I went on leave and have now returned to work.
I’m really appreciative of your incorporation of the Australian outback into my quilt as I drive between postings and on my next one (after deployment) is from Melbourne, Vic to Perth, WA.
Once I complete that drive I will have driven around the whole of Australia. This was one of my goals when I joined the RAN in 2007.
Once again, thank you & I will definitely be treasuring this memento.

To Aussie Heroes Sewing Team Coffs Harbour,
Sandy thank you for designing, Jenny Da thank you for assembling my quilt top, Mary Moon thank you for the quilting, Di G thank you for the binding.
My quilt is gorgeous and thank you all for making us all feel special. It is received with great appreciation from this grateful female soldier. Thank you for your time, love and patience. Love to all.
Keep up the excellent work. Thank you for your service.

Dear Jan-Maree,
Thank you so much for your effort and time you give to Aussie Hero Quilts. I received the quilt and laundry bag especially made for me by Beverley F a few days ago. I must say it was a surprise that it came so quickly and they both are very wonderfully made. The quilt especially made for me will be a cherished family possession.

Thank you for telling me a bit about yourself and your family, and thank you for your service in the RAAF and Navy, and for your husband’s service in the RAAF.

As for myself, I am in the Middle East for six months, and I am just coming up to the half way mark. I have been in the Army for nearly 12 years, the entire time as a reservist in the Royal Australian Army Pay Corps. As a reservist, I thought I would never get the chance to deploy, so it came as a massive surprise to me when I got the call.

Deployment can be a struggle, especially when people are away from their loved ones on special occasions such as Christmas Day, New Years’ Eve and Australia Day. So when my quilt arrived it was such a pleasant and welcome surprise that reminded me that our sacrifices are appreciated.
So once again, thank you for everything. I hope to meet you one day when I return to Australia.
Best regards,

Dear Kerry,
Let me start this letter by way of introduction. I am married with five adult children, 13 grandchildren and in August will become a great grandmother. I am married to a Defence member and of our five children only one has followed in our footsteps. Our children live all over Australia, in fact we joke that a child was left behind after each posting, when in reality that is exactly what happened. We all manage to get together in the one place at the same time every couple of years, but it is a challenge.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you so very much for the laundry bag and goodies that accompanied it. I know you see it as a small but heartfelt gesture, but over here it is a whole lot more. The surprise arrival of the parcel has made my week, in fact it came at a time that I was starting to feel very tired and emotional about being away from home and family. The uplift this gift provided is just too hard to put into words. So thank you for the support you are providing to us over here. Your gesture is a really big deal.
Well Kerry, I have to go now, and really do appreciate the time and effort you put into making my laundry bag and grateful for the goodies. I hope you like the little present I have enclosed.
Warmest regards,

Some of our recipients put their requests in so late that there is not time to make a quilt for them and get it in the mail. On those occassions i send one of the quilts I have here. There are always a few. To make this quilt a little more personal I added a red roo for him. 

Dear Jan-Maree
Thank you for your recent generosity in quickly organising and upgrading me hero Quilt (adding the Red roo). I am currently serving in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) as the Information System Engineer which is part of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG). I am constantly amazed at the support we receive from everyday Australians and organisations like Aussie Hero Quilts.

The Men and Women of our Task Group provide communications support across the MENA and are the most widely dispersed out of any of the units. They have all spent the last 6 months here away from family and friends, this is especially hard during the Christmas period  and all of them are looking forward to returning home very soon.

The Quilts are everywhere here in the MENA and are a credit to you and your team, the good will and sentiment associated with creating them, then the act of giving firmly resonates with me. 
Keep up the great work and all the best for 2019.

Dear Anne and Alan,
Firstly, thank you very much for the quilt and the wash bag. When I made my request I had no idea what to expect. I must say I was blown away with both items. The design both front and rear exceeded my expectations and I thank you very much.

I too have a long history of military service in my family with both my father and grandfathers previously serving.
Anyway duty calls and I must get back to it. Thank you again for the quilt and wash bag, both are truly valued. Please pass on to your quilting friends all our regards and best wishes. The excitement and morale you and your colleagues provide cannot be overstated.
Kind regards,

Hello Anne and Alan,
Firstly, WOW!!!!!!! What a lovely surprise to receive your hand made Hero Quilt. It is beautiful. It brought a tear to my eye when seeing it, thank you. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve received in a long time. It will take pride of place in my home once I return.

I have been in the Army for almost 38 years now, joining when I was only 17 years old. This is my 4th deployment and second time to IRAQ. The other deployments were to East Timor and Solomon Islands. I think I’ll keep serving until I’ve done 40 years’ service then retire.

IRAQ!!! Yes, I’m doing well. The workload here is constant. We are working long days  each day other than Fridays and Sundays where we get the morning off til 1200h. The weather has been a bit of a mixed bag; some days are really cold in the mornings getting down to around 1 or 2 degrees with a wind chill of -1. Most days are sunny with a little bit of cloud about, getting up to the mid-teens. Things should start heating up in March with temperatures hitting mid to high 40s before I leave later in the year.

Thank you again for the lovely Quilt, you guys are amazing for doing this for us guys.

To dear Joan,
Thank you very much for my quilt and some lollies in my care package. It looks amazing and will come in handy in the winter months.

Once again Joan thank you very much for the effort and the time you spent on sending me a gift. I really appreciate it. It’s a really nice feeling that someone you didn’t even know sends you a gift and knowing that some people do care about Defence Force personnel.

Hello Bridget,

I have just received a hero quilt that was made by you.

First of all I just want to thank you for the time and effort you have put into, not only my quilt, but the many quilts and laundry bags that you have made over the years.

I love the quilt that you have made me (I am sure you do not keep track of all the quilts but mine was the one with the ANF at the top, RAEME badge in the centre with an Iraq flag on the lower right and my Task Group logo on the lower left). To be honest,  the other guys that have received a quilt have said that the one I received it is the best quilt that anyone has received this rotation, don’t tell the other ladies that….

Also thanks for the lollies, I shared a few of them but ate most and they were gone within 30 mins.

I have had a really busy time during my deployment so it has gone extremely quick for me, which I am happy for as I have a wife and 2 daughters, one a newborn that I only met for 7 days so I am really eager to return home. 

So, just so you know, the quilts and bags you make are a real morale boost and let you take your mind off work and being so serious for a while. It is also nice to think that that it is not only your immediate family that is thinking of you but there is also many people back home thinking of all the men and women currently deployed.
Anyway, thank you so much for the quilt and thank you for all the ones you have made and will make in the future.


Hi Jean.

A massive thank you to you. I am one of the lucky recipients of one of your laundry bags. I asked for the one with a silhouette of a soldier. It’s great so thanks again.

I was part of the maintenance team in Afghanistan while deployed. I would travel around fixing and maintaining a variety of equipment ranging from weapons, workshop equipment and some systems on the bushmasters. When there was spare time I would like to chat with the others, watch movies or a tv series, exercise and sometimes nap.

I have one daughter who wasn’t quite walking when I left and decided that the day after I went was a good time to start. She had changed so much in the time I was away but enjoying the time back home with her and my wife.

I have just the holidays I had taken after my return and now have to get back into the swing of things back here in Australia. We spent a week each in Townsville and Cairns.

Thanks again for your support and awesome bag.


Hello Jean,

Thank-you so much for the hard work you put into making a laundry bag for me as part of the Hero Quilts project. The work you did was beautiful and simultaneously brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye when I received it. I am at the end of my deployment now, (sorry it has taken so long to reply). This was my 6th deployment and I chalked up a 20 year anniversary of being in the Army and a 10 year anniversary of being with my wife while I was here. 

This is the first time I have requested something through Hero Quilts, and I did it because this will probably be my last deployment. I want you, and the other wonderful people who are part of the program to know just how much your effort is valued, and how much it means to receive something like that in the mail. It is a tangible link to home, and (along with the great letters we get from schoolkids, RSLs etc) a welcome reminder that the Australian people are behind us. We know, as a service community, how lucky we are in our generation to have such love and support for us. It also means a lot to our families.

Thankyou again

Your sincerely

Hello Jean

what a fantastic surprise to receive such a gift.  Thank you!
I certainly wasn’t expecting a laundry bag but whole heartedly appreciate it.
the hours of work that must have gone into the design and preparation and sewing must have been significant.  I really appreciate the time and effort and will put it to good use over here in Iraq. All the very best to the family (including the baby) and have a good ANZAC Day.

Kind regards


Hi Jean,

Hope you are well.  I am 4 months into my deployment.  I just got back from XXXX last week.    It is actually really nice and most of the people are friendly unlike the UAE.
I am looking forward to returning back to Aussie soil – there is no place like home !  I miss my dog terribly.

I hope the weather is treating you well again.
Thank you for my laundry bag.

Kind Regards, 


Good Afternoon Sheena

I have been in the Navy for over 15 years I have been posted all around Australia in that time. I have deployed to Iraq and other boarder force operations countless times.
My roll on the ship is the management of my department. We are the weapons and seamanship experts on the ship giving training and guidance to all of our shipmates.
I am writing to you to say thank so much for taking the time to not only to make this wonderful laundry bag but too also write a letter to me.

I am married with two beautiful girls. A who is four years old and asking a million questions a day. R who is three years old and the cheekiest little devil.
We currently live in Cairns were we enjoy camping, exploring the rainforests and Great Barrier Reef. But unfortunately I spend a lot of time away at sea.
I was very interested in your laundry bag and picked it out of the bunch we were given, it was nice the read up on the different Scottish names.

Yet again thank you so much for the laundry bag, I am sure it will be in our family for a long time.

Kind regards

For a laundry bag made by Clarissa

Good Morning Jan-Maree

I have just recieved my laundary bag and some snacks, thank you so much for going above and beyond if you could please pass on my thanks to the people who made my bag it would be greatly appreciated. i am also in the process of writing a hand written letter to them as well. Once again thank you so much for everthing it has been a massive morale boost

Kindest regards


For a laundry bag made by Cheryl D..

My wash bag has arrived and I have to say it is really well designed and is of very good quality. I loved it that much that I showed my two young boys what it was over a video message. They sent a video message back saying they loved it and they want it for their toy bag. So it appears you have made a 2 year old and 4 year old very happy that they have a Cowboys Toy bag.

Thank you very much for the time, effort and thought in making this.

To Jenny,

I received the laundry bag you made for me just the other day, I’m writing to say thankyou very much for the effort you put into, its awesome, and thankyou for the goodies that came with it.

I was deployed to Afghanistan when we were asked for a preference on what we would like for a hero quilt design. I didn’t even know that these things were done for us soldiers and we are all very grateful that there is still people like you thinking of us over here.

You have a quite a big connection to the defence force I see, for me the last person in my family to serve was in Korea. They were different times though.

The hardest part for me going away was my wife gave birth to our first child (boy) 3 weeks before I left, in total I was away for 7 months so you can imagine my surprise when I returned home to a little baby with a big personality who had already learned to sit up and crawl on his own. Sometimes I get a little sad when I think of all the firsts I missed, like his first word, and first smile. Being the back end of 2018 that I was away for, we had internet so I could skype with my family once a month or more. I’m really enjoying being a dad now that I’m home, I just hope I can be around for more of the big moments, but that’s the drawback of being in the army. My wife has done an incredible job raising him as a single mother for so long, in the hardest part of his life while he was so fragile, I’ll be forever grateful to her for what she’s done for us.

I’m very glad that all of your serving family members are returning safe, its a nice relief landing home again after being away for so long.

Thank you again for your letter and care package. I hope all is well.

Kind regards,


Dear Sandy, Lynne, Mary and Jenny
Thank you so very much for my quilt (and Timtams).  It is such a privilege to receive such a a kind gift that took you so much time. It is something I will cherish for years to come.  I am writing this at the end of my deployment and I really am thankful for the quilt.  My grandmother made me a quilt as a young child and she sadly passed away the week before I deployed last October so your gift is extra special to me and will be something I pass on to my two daughters in the future. 

Dear Pennie,

Thank you very much for the beautiful quilt!  I love the colours and design and the general kind sentiment of someone putting in so much work to make such a wonderful gift to remind me that people are thinking of us back home.

I sent photos of it back to a friend in Australia who quilts and she was impressed and reminded me what a skilled job you made of it.
Besides that, it is just so beautiful – I will keep it as a reminder of my time serving Australia overseas as the Doctor representing Australia and caring for our soldiers in Taji.
Rest assured I have every intention of it becoming an heirloom.

Please forgive my Doctor writing, but as a nurse I’m sure you’re fluent in interpreting chicken scratch doctor handwriting.

Thank you again.


Dear Cath

Thank you so very much for my bag, and the kind gifts included. We all feel happier when mail arrives so to get such kindness from a stranger is amazing. I am writing this at the end of my deployment  and the bag has become a very cherished keepsake. Such a simple thing (not to make I am sure) will forever remind me of my time here. As I have more courses when I get home, it will have continued use, It seems funny  that I joined the military 23 years ago and this is my first deployment, the people I have met and the mail from home has made it great.

kind regards


Dear Joanne,

I am writing to express my sincere thanks to you for creating the impressive laundry bag that I received about four weeks ago.
I apologise for taking so long to send you this note, I received the parcel just a week prior to my coming back to Australia and since then I have been busy integrating back into family life (wife, two kids, two dogs) and settling into my new role at work.

Thank you also for the goodies that were included, it was always nice when I was deployed to receive something from home. 
I really appreciate the time and effort you must have put into making the laundry bag for me, it sounds like you keep yourself busy creating beautiful things.
I often wish I could spend more time being creative.

Once again, thank you.

Dear Rita, Lou, Sherry and Ryan, Jill, Will, Lizzy and Benny, Rachael and Lawton (+ Ludo)

I hope this letter finds you and your family well.

I am writing to send my sincerer thanks for the wonderful care package you sent me.

All the best, warmest regards,

Greetings Kathy,

Thank you kindly for your generous gift.  It is impressive to see such generosity, and I am very grateful to be one of the many lucky enough to be sent something the younger generation see so much less of.

It is lovely to hear of you and your family and I would like to wish you a Happy Mothers Day.

I am 25 years old and have been in the Army since I was 18.  I am currently working as the liaison officer to Commander Task Group Taji VIII.
Whilst this position is unlike anything I have experienced, it is a great experience and very rewarding.

Thank you for the wonderful work you do for Australia’s serving members, and best of wishes.

Hi Ruth,

Sorry for the late reply.

Thank you very much for making me the laundry bag, I really appreciate it. My wife  loves French bulldogs so the laundry bag reminds me home.

I have been in the Navy for almost 16 years and have been deployed to the Middle East four times since 2010. I am a one of two maintenance managers that look after the MH-60R Seahawk Helicopter on board HMAS Ballarat. I specialise in all electrical and avionics systems plus the aircraft’s ordnance. As a maintenance manager I manage the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance around the flying program and ensure the aircraft is prepared and ready to meet operational requirements. On average the aircraft flies between three to six hours a day, searching for suspect boats that may be smuggling illegal items. Although it is hard being away from my wife, family and friends I really enjoy my time at sea. I have been fortunate enough to work all around Australia and the world, throughout my Navy career I have visited 30 countries.

Once again I really appreciate the time you spent making me the laundry bag and I especially appreciate your kind thoughts.


G’day Ruth,

Thank you very much for the LB. I couldn’t have picked a better one from a


Dear Melissa,

I was thrilled to be a recipient of one of your fantastic laundry bags!

I have been meaning to contact you sooner, as I arrived back in Australia in April, but I’ve had a little bit of time off to recuperate and now I’m back at work.

I can’t tell you enough how appreciative I am for your hard work, and I absolutely love it.

You sound like a wonderful wife, and mum and it was very nice to read about your family.

It’s great to hear that your kids are into sport too. As you might’ve guessed from making my laundry bag, I love NRL. I learned to love the game when my family moved to Wagga Wagga when I was a boy, but I still always stay close to my Victorian roots. I’ve been a gigantic Hawthorn supporter for my entire life (my wife asked me not to get a Hawks laundry bag though because I have too much Hawthorn gear already). I played a lot of footy in my youth in the Riverina so I know how much work you must put in to support your kids in their sporting ventures. I really admire people who cop everything that goes with being an umpire. Without them we wouldn’t have a game, which some people forget, and there is absolutely no excuse for the abuse they can receive at times. So let your daughter know that she has a big fan here!

After six months in the Middle East it can make you feel like you’ll never get home sometimes, and someone showing an immense amount of kindness for a stranger like you have makes us feel wonderful.

I hope you have a wonderful 2019, and all the best to you and your family in all your endeavours.

With my warmest regards,

Hi Sandy,

Today I received my quilt. What an amazing gift and great work from Chris T, Di G and yourself. Hopefully I refrain from eating Tim Tams whilst relaxing with my quilt.

Words can’t explain how much this means to me. 

Thank you so much for the quilt and keep up the amazing work. The boys and girls over here are always uplifted when they see the package come in with Aussie Hero Quilt on the box.

Also thanks Jan-maree/Gail for helping also.


Hi Ruth,
Thank you so much for the Crows laundry bag and other gifts. It really did brighten my day.
I look forward to the quilt also it will eventually go in my baby’s cot when i get home from deployment later this year, baby is due November. It will be a Crows supporter Haha.
Thanks again for doing what you’re doing we are very appreciative.

Kind regards

Good Morning Chris,

Thank you very much for the washing bag. It will come in very handy during our trip. I wasn’t able to get onto a computer until now as the connections quite poor and there have been a lot of people on the network. Luckily there aren’t many people up at the moment so there’s a few computers free.
I was posted to HMAS Childers  only a week ago as part of my training to eventually become a qualified Officer of the Watch. (The person in charge on the bridge). I was fortunate enough to get posted to Childers for a good trip.
I’m originally from South Australia, where my Mum, twin brother and younger sister still live. My Dad’s in the Army and posted to Darwin but is currently deployed to the UAE, and my older brother lives in London. I joined the Navy in 2015 and studied at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra before posting to HMAS Watson in Sydney to complete my navigation training.
I was lucky enough to be able to go visit my family before I left for the trip so I only recently saw them, but I haven’t seen my dad in quite a while as hes been deployed.
I hope your shoulder recovers soon! Sounds like it would be a little painful.
Yours Aye,


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

Jan-Maree xx

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