Grati-Tuesday 24 April

Written by AHQ

24 April 2018

Hi all

The first message tonight is a little special.  When I was at the Australasian Quilt Convention I was delighted to meet one of our recipients when he came up to me during the dinner to congratulate me on being recognised with the Lut Da Award.  I asked him if he could send me a photo of himself with his laundry bag and he sent me the following.

Enjoy his message and the rest…. they always make me smile. How about you!

I was the proud recipient of a laundry bag in Afghanistan four years ago. I have many memories of my first day in Afghanistan, but one of the most profound was receiving my laundry bag. This simple gesture cut through everything else. To me it meant someone cared and gave their valuable time and material to make a personal item for me.  I am forever grateful to you and your band of volunteers who should be under no misunderstanding how much their gifts mean and the lasting impact it has. Besides being a thoughtful gesture, the bag was really useful and accompanies me today on work trips and holidays, after all, who doesn’t need a sturdy laundry bag!


Hi Sue,

Thank you so much for the Hero Blanket I received. I really appreciate the support you provide to deployed troops.
Its funny watching the reaction from the soldiers when they receive one of these gifts, and the other day was my turn, thank you for that.
I have attached a photo of myself on the day I received the blanket. I have also attached a photo of myself and my training team.
Again, thank you so much for your support and for the blanket.




Thank you so much for the Laundry Bag you sewed for me,

It is so nice to have such thoughtful people back home doing things like this for us!

It has been quite an experience so far and I’ve been fortunate enough to have deployed with great people here too.

We are due home very soon and I’m looking forward to sharing the experiences with my family and showing off my Laundry Bag!

Thanks again for your contribution and I hope you enjoy the rest of the year ahead!


Hi Jean,

I just wanted to drop you a quick email to let you know that I received the laundry bag that you made for me.

Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into it.

The sausage dogs on it were my favourite! Reminded me of my two sausage dogs at home Milo and Daisy!
Thank you again for the time you put into making my laundry bag. Is definitely nice when we receive mail here.



Dear Sue
I would like to thank you for the fantastic quilt, the detail in the quilt is fantastic it’s very clear you have put a lot of time and care into this for me.
 Once I am back home I intend to hang the quilt on a wall but also be able to take it with me again on another trip.
 Back home I am an Air Force Security – Military Working Dog Handler. I have been with the RAAF for 5 years now; I am currently posted to a base in NSW. I grew up in Victoria, so to see that someone from my home state made this was even more exciting.
 Id like to thank you for what you do, supporting us in this way is an amazing thing and I really am unable to thank you enough.


Goodmorning Jenny,

Thank you so much for your letter. I really do appreciate the time and effort you have taken in both writing to me and crafting that laundry bag for me. It looks great 🙂
Once again, I thank you for the time you have taken to sew for me and write your letter. I wish you and your family all the best of luck for the future and hope that this email finds you well 🙂


I’d just like to say a big Thankyou to Michele S and all the Aussie hero quilters. 
It’s really nice to receive something from Home and to know the effort that you are all putting in to let us know of your support. 
I love my quilt!

Once again Thankyou so much, we really appreciate it.

Hi Sue,
First of all, Thank you very much for your gifts! The quilt is fantastic and the treats have been a morale booster!

I think that is enough about work, I would love to tell you about my family! I’ve been married to my beautiful wife now for nearly four years and we have a gorgeous little girl who is nearly 18 months old. I also have to mention we have a very spoiled dog, who has been an absolute sook since I have been away! My wife is also in the Army and as a mother yourself, I’m sure you can imagine the effort she has to go through when I am deployed! This is now my sixth deployment overseas and it doesn’t get any easier, especially now we have our daughter. Although I am used to serving overseas, this deployment is a little different as this is the first time I have deployed as a father. Unfortunately I missed my daughter’s first birthday, first Christmas and her first steps! I’m hoping I will be home for her first words!
Sue, your efforts and the efforts of all the members of ‘Aussie Heros, is well recognised and highly regarded across the ADF.  It may seem insignificant but any care package from Australia is always treasured and very much appreciated. I’m sure you guessed the quilt you made is in fact not for me but for my Daughter. I can’t wait to give it to her when I finally get home to Australia.

Thank you and best wishes,

Hi Sue
Thank you very much for your amazing quilt. I am a dad with identical twin girls (3yo) and can’t wait to go over all the flowers with them. It has been hard being away from my family, but it is nice to know that total strangers are thinking of us (it is a beautiful thing).
 Thanks again, 

Good Afternoon Carol
I would like to thank you for my quilt. It’s amazing. I’m currently deployed on Operation Manitou on HMAS Warramunga. I am a Clearance Diver on-board and I’m responsible for all boarding evolutions and I am the Explosive Ordinance Technician for this deployment. We deployed from Sydney in October last year and return to Sydney at the start of July. It has been 30 – 40 degrees here, so the Quilt has come in handy on the ship in the heat.  I just returned from a short break in Stockholm, Estonia, Poland and Prague, they give us a break during a 9 month deployment. It was really cold in Stockholm and Estonia, there was snow and ice everywhere. But I can’t wait to get back home to Australia.
Well once again thank you very much for thinking of us, whilst we are deployed from our family and friends. I hope you had a wonderful Easter.

Greatly Appreciated and Kind Regards

Hi Philomena,
I just wanted to let you know that I received my amazingly beautiful quilt today. Thank you so much – it is fantastic, and reminds me of the times I spent in the water on a Hawaii posting, and summer moments at a good old Aussie beach. I had to laugh at one piece of material with the words ‘shark bait’ on it. When I was swimming in Hawaii off the North Shore, I came face to face with a shark. After nearly dying of fright, it left me alone and swam away, but my best friend’s eldest son now calls me Shark Bait. Actually  they all do!
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how appreciative I am for such a beautiful, personal and thoughtful gift. I will get some photos taken, and email them to you and post them on Jan Maree’s page.
Thanks again – you have made my day!
Warmest regards,

Hi Jenny

Thank you so much for the quilt. I can see that it took a lot of your time and effort to create it.  It gave me a good laugh when I saw it and my mates thought it was great too. I think my little fella back home will love it on his bed when I get home. I don’t think he will understand the meme but I’m sure he will see the funny side of a dog dressed as spiderman
Hes only 3yo.

You guessed right, I do love dogs. I joined the Royal Australian Airforce when I was 19yo as a Military Working Dog Handler.  After 13 years of being a Doggie my body just couldn’t do it any more.  Most of my fiends have had many injuries and surgeries from the rigours of being dragged along and attacked by 40kg dogs.  I’ve now moved into the policy and administrative side of security in the RAAF. Its a nice needed change but miss the dogs.

I was very fortunate to Deploy in 2008 with my Dog to Timor. It was probably the highlight of my career so far.  Deploying with dogs is not something that comes up very often due to quarantine issues and host nation sensitivities etc.

I’ve been overseas this time for 6 Months. I cant wait to get home. My wife(a serving RAAF member also),  has been very busy selling our house and moving all of our things and two kids to our new location in Adelaide. She’s had a pretty long and stressful time so I’m sure she cant wait  for me to pick up some of the load back home.

The people over here really appreciate what you and the other Aussie Hero Quilters do. Thank you again 

Dear Shel,

I hope this finds you and your family well.

I recently received your Quilt and I want to thank you for taking the time to make and send something to me that is so wonderful.

I have been over here in Iraq for just over four months now and to have a little piece of home here is great, and it will have a pride of place amongst my memorabilia when I get home.

Once again – thank you.

Dear Jan-Maree,
Thank you to you and all the team involved in making my Gun Captain themed Aussie Hero Quilt (made by Sandy) and Laundry Bag (made by Jean). I received them just the other day and I absolutely love them both. The quilt now has a permanent place on my rack and I am making good use of the laundry bag.
It is a fantastic thing that you and your team do and it has definitely brought a smile to my face and given me something extra to be thankful for and will keep me going until our return to Australia.

Warmest regards,

Hey Sharon,
Thank you so much for the laundry bag that you made for me. It will definatly keep all my clothes more private.  I am looking forward to getting back to Aus and being able to go fishing and diving again. It’s good to hear the kids get excited about helping out. Hope everything is still going good in Aus and thanks again for the laundry bag it is great.

Take Care.

Hi Jo,
I want to thank you so very much for the quilt you made for me. I could not be happier with what you have produced.
In response to your question, I chose the fleur-de-lis purely as it represents my favourite sports team, the New Orleans Saints.
It is always a morale booster on-board when quilts come in as everyone loves to show them off and compare the designs. We also all appreciate the time you take out of your life to make these for us, it definitely makes being away from home for such a long period that little bit more bearable. Once again, thank you for taking the time to make the quilt, I am most grateful.
All the best,

Dear Beth, 
I am an infantry soldier deployed to Iraq as part of Task Group Taji 6. Myself and all the other soldiers over here greatly appreciate the effort your local community puts in so we can enjoy a little piece of home when we are so far away. It always brings a smile to everyone’s face to know we have kind people back home thinking about us. To you and anyone else who is interested in what my role is I’ll give you a quick explanation. I am part of the force protection element assigned to Task Group Taji 6. It is my job to ensure other defence members over here with me are protected from any threat of attack by local Islamic State forces whilst they are training Iraqi Security Forces to assist in the defeat of ISIS. I love my job and I love serving my country, it is an honour to represent you and all other Australians working towards a better future. Once again thank you for your support and the beautiful quilt I will treasure it for the rest of my life.

Kind regards 

Till next time… have a wonderful day… 

keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx

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