Grati-Tuesday 23 Jan 18

Written by AHQ

23 January 2018

Are you feeling the heat at the moment?  Strange to think that our troops are feeling the cold at the same time whilst they are deployed.

Enjoy these messages! 

The best Labrador quilt in the middle east!
Good afteroon Cathie,

I received your amazing quilt just before new years. It was the biggest and best surprise! I have been waiting for the photos bellow so I could send them to you! I absolutely love it!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Cathie. I look forward to seeing pictures of all your labbies soon!

Kind regards,


Hi Thelma,

Firstly – thanks very much for the time you took to make my laundry bag and put together the care package – especially the personalisation of the bag with my initials and 1SQN crest and aircraft.  These care packages mean a lot to all of us on deployment as I’m sure your grandsons will attest to.  Its always nice to receive something from home.

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner – your care package arrived last week – however it has been quite busy here in the Middle East.  Including your email address helped a lot too.

I’d also like to take the time to thank you for your service.  Its not just the ADF members who deploy, but their families also ‘deploy’ – often doing it tough on our lengthy deployments.  My wife is looking after our 2 children, a farm, and a full-time job.  She is amazing.  Thankfully I’ll be heading home soon to help out.  Luckily my children are 10 and 9 years old and are fantastic daughters who help out a bit where they can.

Once again, thanks for the care package.


Hello Sue,

Firstly I would like to thank you for the ship themed quilt that you made for me, I am absolutely delighted with it And it hasn’t moved off my rack since I received it, and I must say a fair few comments have been said of how Nice it was and wished that they had thought of the theme for their quits as well.
I received your quilt whilst we were alongside in our last port of call.

I myself am a Marine Technician Like your late husband I work in the engine rooms as well, although we call our selves ‘Stokers

Once again I want to thank you for the Quilt,
Thank you
Hi Jeanette,

I thank you after recently receiving a Hero Quilt you made for me after my recent deployment to the Middle East Region with the Australian Airforce.

A little about myself. I have served for nearly 23 years as an Aircraft Technician, and am currently working with the C130J aircraft at RAAF Richmond but have several other aircraft types under my belt during my time. This was my second deployment in as many years, ensuring our aircraft keep flying the support for our men and women in theatre. It is a job I am truly proud of with my deployments being the highlights of my career.

When I am not working, my passion- apart from my wife- is off road motorcycle riding. This is where the theme of the quilt you made me stems from. My current, and several past off road motorcycles have been KTM’s.   My motorcycles, which there are 4 of, take pride of place in my garage so feel assured your quilt will be on prominent display when friends and family visit.

I thank you again for making me my quilt. Speaking with many other people who have received quilts during the past express their gratitude for the effort the volunteers at Hero Quilts make. It does not go un-noticed and is highly appreciated.


Hi Pennie,

I am writing to pass on my sincerest thanks for the wonderful Laundry Bag that you kindly made for me. The package arrived while we were alongside recently. It is perfect. Better than I had hoped for. I particularly like the embroidery on the front and the inner lining. It’s currently holding my laundry, hanging next to my rack (bed). I’m looking forward to receiving the quilt. I will have it as a keepsake for my son when I get back home but plan to get some good use out of it here first. The whole hero quilts program is a very thoughtful idea that is greatly appreciated by our sailors.

I joined the Navy as a 19 year old in 2003 to work as an Officer of the Watch (responsible for navigation and warfare) on the bridge. I did that for about 6 years before going back to uni to study medicine. That has led me back to sea as the ships doctor now which is a role I thoroughly enjoy. This is actually my first trip back at sea since 2009.

I was pleased to hear that you are an Emergency nurse. I spent about a year in ED as a junior doctor so understand the high tempo work environment. The shift work is very demanding and the contribution you make is as valuable if not moreso than anything we do out here. I have a huge amount of respect for the work you do.

 We’ll be operating in a huge patrol area throughout the middle east region. It’s a long time to be away from family and friends and that is really the hardest part of my job here. That’s why little acts of kindness like the package I received from you mean so much. It means a great deal to have the support of our countrymen back home whilst we are on the other side of the world flying the flag and working hard to contribute to the regional security. It helps me to justify my absence from the family to myself, particularly over the Christmas period and school holidays.

We have been fortunate enough to have some success out here and so far we have boarded many vessels and seized about 11.5 tonnes of hash and 140kg of heroin. Our role is really to disrupt the sources of revenue funding terrorist combatant groups here in the middle east but also to keep those drugs from reaching the end user. Our main focus is the interception of drugs and weapons moving between Iran/Pakistan and Africa. We are a small part in a much larger task force but we are doing our bit and everyone here takes great pride in the work we do.

Thank you again!

Warm Regards,


Merry Christmas Noel and Shirley,

I am the proud recipient of your wonderful quilt and laundry bag, I absolutely love them.
You are so clever making them so quickly.
It is getting quite cool over here this time of year so the timing is perfect also.

Thank you so much, you have brought some cheer to a not so cheery place.
Have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
I will always have this quilt to remind me how generous and nice people can be towards strangers.

Dear Joy,

I’d first like to give you a massive thank you!  I absolutely love my quilt, it has brightened my room so much and made it feel more like home.  My mother also quilts so I have a few in the house from birthdays past.  This new one will be loved just as much I assure you, by myself and also my children who love superheroes.  I have a 4 year old boy and a 2 year old girl who I miss terribly but are being looked after well by their father and grandmother, God bless her.

I’d love to tell you a bit about my work here.  I am deployed with the Air Task Group to the Middle East Region working on 6 FA18F Super Hornets.  My role is an Avionics Technician, this is similar to an electrician with a bit more thrown in.  I’m responsible for maintaining the electrical systems, oxygen systems and servicing the aircraft so our pilots can fly safely. 

Thank you again for what you do.  Your efforts and that of Aussie Hero Quilts means so much to us all.


Dear Sandy,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thanks for the beautiful quilt that Nola, Mary and yourself put together and sent to me in the Middle East.

The area that I’m operating in features a lot of sand and not much greenery so the quilt adds a significant splash of colour to our otherwise drab surroundings.

While the quality and design of the quilt are fantastic in their own right, it’s even more special given that you and your team are willing to spend your time and resources putting these together for us. Thank you.    

Kind regards and best wishes for a prosperous 2018.

G’Day Robyn,

Firstly I would like to thank you for the amazing care package!  I actually didn’t get an opportunity to eat lunch the day I received this package, so it’s safe to say that the tim tams didn’t last long.

The laundry bag however will hopefully stay with me forever, and I think it’s absolutely perfect!  Thank you so so much.  I have been using it every second day and it’s so easy to distinguish which bag is mine J I sent a phot to my partner back home in Darwin and she absolutely loved it.

Sounds like you and Michael have your hands full with the church, and I am sure it’s beautiful.  So for you to dedicate time for me with this letter and work on the laundry bag it means so much!

Thank you for the prayers and do keep the Defence Force in mind.  We have been very fortunate lately.

The water rafting sound like an absolute blast and I will have to keep you in mind if I ever make the journey down south to the Blue Mountains.  I do hear it’s amazing!

Anyhow, I apologise for the delayed response as I have been super busy.  I know it’s not an excuse, I’m sorry, but I want to thank you one last time.

Kind regards


Hi Anne and Alan,

Just writing to say thankyou very much for my Hero Quilt and Laundry bag. It is perfect and has a permanent position on my bed as it is getting quite cold here. The parcels did arrive before Christmas which was good timing. I returned to our base on Christmas Eve and was very happy to see the quilt, laundry bag and goodies.

That sounds like a very nice place to live. I currently live with my girlfriend and our dog who is a bull terrier cross aussie bulldog.  I recently travelled to Greece and Italy which was a great experience. A work friend and I went to all the historical sites in Greece and visited Thermopylae where the Spartans had their famous battle and so on. I went through a period were I was very interested in Spartan Warrior Culture ( hence why I asked for a Spartan helmet on my quilt haha).

I have been listening to a lot of military podcasts lately some of which talk a lot about Vietnam. Such an incredibly difficult and hard time for the soldiers who fought there and I have the utmost respect for all our Vietnam Veterans. It is sad that at the time the Australian public didn’t give them the respect they deserve. Fighting in the jungle for any length of time is definitely not a pleasant experience.  I have been to Tully a few times for jungle training and that is obviously nothing compared to what our soldiers dealt with over there, but even that small taste of the jungle was not exactly my idea of a good time.

I am the first of my immediate family to serve in the military. My grandfather did national service with the Air Force and my great grandfather was a prisoner of war in WW2. However it came as quite a shock to my parents and other close family when I enlisted….especially into the infantry.  I can only speak for myself but most of my mates joined for the challenge and fast paced lifestyle but also because they wanted to do their duty and give something back to our nation.

I spent quite a lot of time at my local RSL playing snooker when I was in my late teens (I am 27 now) and have always been very appreciative of the work they do. I think that the bond that is developed among your fellow soldiers is an amazing thing. Many of the men who are here with me I have known since I first enlisted and gone through all the training with so they are really like my brothers.

Anyway, just wanted to say thankyou for all the work you are doing. I know that it means a lot to myself and everyone else here. Its easy to feel isolated over here and detached from things back in Aus so its great to have people like yourselves who are helping us out. Thank you.

Take care,


 Good evening Anne,

I am writing to you today to thank you for sending me over my wonderfully crafted Penrith Panthers laundry bag. Just letting you know it arrived in the mail a little past New Years Eve but I managed to have quite an enjoyable evening here.

The laundry bag is perfect! You nailed the colours exactly like their jersey and the added touch of my initials was very handy, especially since bags can get legs and walk around here.

I enjoyed reading your letter and hearing about your plans for Christmas and New Years with your family and friends, hope the Christmas pudding and brandy butter was amazing and that the yachts all arrived safely at Hobart!!

Yes, I’m currently deployed here in the Middle East Region and work within the RAAF as a Personnel Capability Specialist (PCS), which is kind of like HR in the civilian world. I’m looking forward to my compulsory two weeks off which I will travel to UK and Scotland for a bit of RnR before coming back and working till I head home.
Great to hear your Father was a Squadron Leader in the RAF/RNZAF! It’s always nice hearing that someone had family serve within the coalition forces, its kind of a big family, all fighting the same cause.

With regards to you falling into the AHQLBs team, you should definitely stick with it. The bags that get sent over mean a lot to the serving members here and especially when they are tailored to their personal interests and hobbies, it gives us all something to smile about. I’m sure you’ve made plenty of bags for other members, and I’d like to thank you on their behalf. Keep up the great work!!

Wishing you a prosperous 2018 and hope that all your wishes and dreams come true in the near future.

As for me, I’m looking forward to returning home and catching up with my family and friends in Sydney.

Take care and sincerely,



It was an unexpected delight to receive a parcel from you today. I had been having a
particularly tough day to be honest. Motivation was pretty low. Due to our location, much of the Christmas mail had not arrived, my family was missing me terribly and my boss was in a particularly foul mood.

But then I received your parcel and was moved to tears. Good tears. The kind of tears that recognized that there are good people in the world, and people that care about what we are doing. The laundry bag is nearly too perfect to use!  Having a little piece of Australia in the middle of this endless beige landscape is going to be wonderful.

It is actually freezing cold here at the moment. I have my thermal underwear, gloves, beanie and jacket on most days. I have a couple of km walk to work each morning and the wind can go right through you if you’re not rugged up enough. Occasionally I’ll walk with some US colleagues, but of course by the time you have a shemagh wrapped around your face and glasses on to protect from the sand, you are so  rugged up it’s hard to tell anyone’s gender let alone if you know them or not.

The scorpions don’t seem to mind the cold or the heat. They are ever present, particularly on the walk home at night. They don’t like lights, so I find myself hurrying between one street light and the next, trying very hard not to acknowledge the odd ‘crunch’ of a squashed scorpion beneath my boots in the unlit parts.

Thank you so much for taking the time to make a laundry bag for me – it has made my day.
I have a big smile from ear to ear and am feeling particularly proud to be Australian!

Kindest regards,
Margaret B

Thank you so much for your quilt, I love it so much.  Not what I expected but
it’s so much more.
Thank you for the homie touch with your own personal horse shoe down the bottom.
it is my most favourite thing of this trip so far.
I really appreciate the time you took out of your life to make this for me.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Middle East.

Hello Joan,

Thank you for my beautifully made laundry bag, it will be getting a lot of use with all the exercises and deployments we do. You and everyone at Aussie Hero Quilts are doing a fantastic job and it is very much appreciated by all Defence members. I have done plenty of exercises and trips with the RAAF but this was my first Middle East deployment and receiving something like this is a nice little token that I can keep from my time in the MER. I have attached a group photo from the flightline over there with one of our F/A-18F Super Hornets and Rob is right, they shouldn’t be trifled with J.
I wish you and everyone at Aussie Hero Quilts all the best for 2018 and keep doing what you are doing, it’s a fantastic organization and you should be really proud of what you do.

Thank you


Have a great night! 

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

Jan-Maree xx

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