Grati-Tuesday 25 April

Written by AHQ

25 April 2017

Before anything else, I hope everyone had a good day today.  

ANZAC Day is an important day to remember all those brave souls who have served and sacrificed in the past but I strongly believe that we should also, on this day, be thankful and appreciative of those who serve us today, wherever they are.  I think we also need to think of those who have paid a price for their service in one way or another. 

We are a lucky country, but a lot of that luck has come through the efforts of others. 

Freedom does not come free. 

Lest We Forget.

As I explained earlier over the weekend, I may not have reliable internet tonight so I am writing this in advance.  If all goes to plan I will have attended the Dawn Service at one of my old bases, HMAS Creswell.  I am also hoping to catch up with one of our recipients around lunch time and another at dinner time. I will be driving back from Creswell on Wednesday and will be back on deck answering emails as soon as I can once I get home. 

Till then, enjoy these messages

Hi Robyn,

I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to write this email, sometimes life gets away from you, you know?

In July last year, while in a hot, far flung part of the world, I received a package in the mail. I did not recognise the return address but I could tell it was going to be something special. It was lucky I has a second to duck away to open it, as I think there might have been a bit of Australian dust in the box that got into my eye.

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you for your incredible gift. Receiving such a beautiful quilt made me feel incredibly lucky.

Even though it’s been a while, I just wanted to send my sincere thanks. I don’t have the words to express how much your beautiful creation meant to me. I’ve attached a photo of the quilt on my bed, where it brightened my space and brought a smile to my face every time I saw it.

Many thanks, and best wishes.


Good morning Sue,

Thank you so much for the beautiful quilt you made made and sent me. I’ve used it every day (as it gets cold at night even in our accommodation)
I apologise that I have not sent you a reply message earlier, I went to sea on ARUNTA for a month for training and when I got back I misplaced everything while unpacking.
I have had a great time whilst deployed in XXXXX.  
However, even though I’ve loved experiencing the culture of the Middle East I am so excited to get home next week to my family.
I ‘recently’ got married (June last year) so I am looking forward to getting home to my husband (and our puppy- well dog now).
Thank you again so much for the time, effort and love you put into making this quilt for me, I really appreciate it.
I hope you and your family (cats and all) are doing fine as well and arn’t affected by the crazy weather.

Anne H

My son recently spent 6 months in the Middle East. During that time he received a lovely quilt from you, and later a laundry bag. He was thrilled and sent me a photo straight away. I attended a “Show @ Tell” quilt show recently and we talked about your lovely gesture. This was his second tour of duty and your thoughtful action reminded him that people still care. Regards 

 Hi Jean,

Just a quick not to say thank you for the laundry bag you kindly made for me.
I received your letter and thought it only right to drop a line back to you personally to thank you.  I am currently serving in XXXX and will be here for a while.
Everything you do for us is really appreciated; the small things matter so much when we are away from our family.

I do not know if you follow rugby, but I am the only Rabbits and Dragons fan, so for number 1,  I am really pleased to have the laundry bag and 2, I took some stick when the boys and girls saw what you had made me.

I am also an animal lover, with 2 dogs (daughter has grown up and flown the nest) and if I let the wife loose I am sure we would have a house full of cats, dogs, fish and any other number of domesticated pets.

Again, many thanks for thinking of us all

Dear Jan-Maree,

Can I firstly apologise for my apparent tardiness. You were kind enough earlier this year to make me a personalised laundry bag and send that along with Minties and a lovely letter to be waiting for my arrival in the Middle East. I have just arrived and received the parcel, and to say I was surprised is an understatement. 

The laundry bag you made truly is a piece of art encapsulating aspects of my life as a proud member of the Australian Army wearing the Rising Sun, as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot and as an engineer. I feel honoured that you went to such effort to research a bit about me and then personally take the time to make the bag. 

The work that you do is amazing and truly appreciated. Please accept the sincere thanks of a deployed serviceman. 

Hello Robyn,

I am currently deployed in Egypt on an Operation called Mazurka. Recently I received the Hawks Quilt you made for me and previous to that I got your washing bag. Words cannot express how appreciative I am of the work you have done on the Quilt and Bag. You are both generous and talented and I love them both. I can’t tell you how much things like this lift the morale of everyone over here. As I am sure you can imagine sometimes we feel disconnected and forgotten about when it comes to Australia as a whole but people like you who do this work lift our spirits immeasurably.

I’m sure this was completed some time ago but I have only just received it due to the issues with mail we have here. I am currently using the Quilt but when I get home I have a 7 year old boy who loves the Hawks and he will be so excited to get the Quilt. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for giving up your time and putting in the effort to do this. You are a wonderful person and your work is greatly appreciated. 

Warmest regards,

Good evening Sue,

Thank you so much for taking the time to make my quilt and laundry bag! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fantastic work you do! I absolutely loved them both! The detail in the quilt and the research you did into the theme/ colours did not go unnoticed (honestly I wouldn’t mind having an orange uniform but my boss probably not so much)… you really went above and beyond!!

I was already over the moon having received the quilt and laundry bag, then when I saw all the other goodies you included I felt very spoiled. I am a bit of a sucker for sweets.

You seem like a very kind and thoughtful lady and I am very lucky to have received these awesome gifts from you. 
Once again, thank you!


Dear Karen,

 Thank you very much for the Aussie Hero Quilt (and other assorted goodies). It arrived here on 19 Apr 17 and was opened to the sound of many gasps and much applause.
 The impact that the Aussie Hero Quilts initiative has on soldiers, sailors and airmen here in theatre is palpable and a sincere envy of all other nations.
 It is widely understood that the Australian Government looks after its serving personnel better than any other nation. It is however on the efforts of people like yourself that we feel truly blessed.
Prior to joining the Army I was a high school mathematics and physics teacher on the Gold Coast; hence my request for a quilt with a solar system theme. I intend to share the quilt with my children, who are starting to get very interested in such things.
 Thank you once again for your support, and please know that you have provided the XXXXX family something that will be treasured for more than a life-time.
 Kind regards 
Hi Raeleen,

Thank you very much for the Aussie Hero Quilt.  It surpassed my expectations of what I would get when I asked for a Hawks themed one.  I cannot wait to get home and get to a match (in the cold of course) and see all the envious looks I get wrapped up nice and warm and in my team colours….

Life is generally good over here, however as I type this it is pouring with rain and we are having some amazing thunder storms.  The weather is due to start getting warmer!…

Thank you also for the Tim Tams, they are always a welcome treat and for the Easter eggs too.  I am trying to stay off the chocolate so they will get shared around.  The AFL magazine is perfect timing as I am still building my Dream Team so the information will come in very handy….

Please pass on my thanks to Jan-Maree and all the quilting ladies, I think you do an amazing job.  We are all very humbled by what you do but are pleased that there are people other than our families thinking about us and what we are doing.
Best Wishes
Hi Ruth,

Thanks very much for my laundry back that I received today.
I appreciate your effort, it must have been hard making a St.kilda one.
I look forward to using my new bag 🙂
Thanks for your support!


Good morning Rita,

Thank you Very much for the quilt and letter. I absolutely love it. It’s exactly what I wanted.
Sending the Aussie quilts to defence members whilst on deployment is greatly appreciated. I think it’s wonderful you do this for us.

The Middle East is very hot at the moment. Our deployment so far has been pretty good. 
The quilt will come back with me and will go on my couch as a blanket! 

It’s fantastic to have a piece of home with us whilst we are away and receiving such a thoughtful gift makes our day! Keep up the fantastic work and once again thank you so much!

Hi Joan,

Apologies it has taken me a while to send you this email. I received a laundry bag from you at around Christmas time while I am deployed.

Firstly, thankyou for the laundry bag. It has been very handy for doing the washing here, and it has also been nice to add a bit of colour around the place!

I hope you had a good Christmas and 2017 is going well for you and your family so far.

Once again, thanks for the work that you and Aussie Heroes do for those of us who are deployed. I can assure you that it is much appreciated by all.

All the best,


I have received my AHQ quilt and I must admit that I am very happy with it. 🙂
I shall endeavour to take a photo of myself and the quilt and send it to you.
I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to yourself and all of your wonderful volunteers.
The continued hard-work and dedication that you all ooze is truly impressive.
I know that the receipt of these bespoke laundry bags and quilts do wonders for deployed members morale.
We all eagerly await the drop of the weekly dispatch Facebook notices in the hope of seeing our items.
Thank-you from one extremely happy and morale boosted Airman.

Hmmm looks like I will have to be extra vigilant to make sure obvious pics don’t go up till the quilts and bags have been received….but I do love the fact that the troops check out the blog and hope to get a sneak peek.

Good afternoon Bridget,

I am the Executive Officer of HMAS Waller and grateful recipient of your laundry bag.  Thank you very much to you and the other members of Aussie Hero Quilts.  The life and surroundings of a submarine are very (and necessarily) sterile and having a little burst of colour in our very limited personal space is very comforting and reminds us why we do the jobs we do.  Being a submariner is a unique vocation and is very much centred around providing a service to our country.  Submariners are often considered a little “special” in our make up because many people cannot fathom living the life we do, away from our family and friends for months at a time with absolutely no contact (no email or phones underwater!) with the exception of the chance ( just a possibility) that our family is able to send us a 26 letter telegram style message once a week (maybe – as communication opportunities are often very limited).

We are a small proud community and the team I lead is very special to me and having gestures such as the Laundry bags (called Dhobey Bags in the Navy- don’t ask me why) have a real impact on my team, as we provide the strategic deterrent in support of the defence of Australia.

Once again thank you to you and your group and best wishes to you and your family.  My best wishes go to your daughter post HSC and your son if he decides to get a mechanical apprenticeship (the Navy always needs mechanics or Marine Technicians as we call them!)  Please also give your cheeky poodle a pat from the crew of Waller.

All the best,


Just pause for a moment and what you would say in a message of 26 letters to a loved one…. I suspect our submariners become masters of brevity.

Thank you for your service guys and girls of the Silent Service.

Dear Robyn,

I am writing this to say thank you for the quilt, laundry bag and goodies you sent (in time for ANZAC Day). It is always good to hear from home and to get mail. I couldn’t believe how good the quilt and laundry bag turned out, and how thoughtful the letters you wrote were. It is difficult being away from home but people like you make me proud to do this job, we are so lucky to live in a place like Australia.

I am 21 years old, I joined the army when I was 18. I was born in Adelaide. My parents and my two brothers live 20 minutes away closer to the city. Your farm sounds great, I would love to own a decent bit of land one day.

I hope you and your family are well, I will be thinking of you on ANZAC day. Thank you again for the quilt and laundry bag, they are fantastic and I will cherish them for years to come.

Thank you and keep up the great work!

Hello Carol,

Thank you very much for the quilt you sent me… and the wonderful treats!!

It is a very kind gesture and I am very thankful for it, the morale it brings to us is amazing. You wouldn’t believe how much it can brighten our day by receiving a quilt in the mail, and the treats certainly are a bonus! Whenever someone receives a package from the Aussie Hero Quilts we are always eager to see what design they got, even the boys get excited!!

I am 23 years old. I have been in the Army for 2 years. My job there is a Unit Quartermaster. I work in the Warehouse and supply our troops with whatever equipment they need.  My partner is also in the Army, and he is deployed to Iraq at the moment doing similar work but he left a few months earlier than me. 

We are 3 months into our deployment, with a few more to go. I am already eager to get back to the comforts of home, and all the luxuries. But small gestures like yours are very helpful at keeping the spirits high and moods up, so once again I thank you for taking the time and effort to make my day.

Kind Regards,


Hi Sharon,

Thank you so much from you and your family for the wonderful gifts that I received it was the best suprise out here I have gotten yet.

Haha with the request of pineapple that’s a army term for receiving the crap jobs or the tasks that no one wants to do, haha receiving pineapples. My whole army career has involved many pineapples haha.

Thank your children for me as well I had so much fun with my roommates reading their letters haha I had the biggest smile the whole time.

This is my first deployment and it’s definitely made me grow up a lot. I am enjoying it, but it makes you miss the little things at home especially just how clean australia is haha. Only another 4 months to go but who is counting haha.
The job of making quilts brings smiles to all the soldiers out here. We compared and mine has definitely been the best so far hah.

Thank you again and I hope you have a few beers for us on ANZAC Day.

Thank you.

Hello Julie-Ann

Firstly thank you so much for the laundry bag, mugrugs and treats they are great!! It arrived to me on Easter Sunday so well done on the timing for that.

Wow, quite a lot to keep you busy as well as find time to do such a nice thing for all of us here overseas. Its niceties like this from people like yourself who make it that little bit easier for everyone here.

My mum (Jenny) has actually been making the same things for AHQ for about three years now. She seems to enjoy doing it and is always telling me about the different people she gets emails back from.

I will definitely still be here for ANZAC day as I am the only XXXXXXX in Afghanistan I have been working very long days making up bayonets and flagpoles for ANZAC day on top of my normal job. So as excited as I am to have my first ANZAC day deployed, I also can’t wait for it too be over so I can get some decent sleep.

Thank again for the gifts, much appreciated


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

Jan-Maree xxx

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  1. Jacqui D

    Lovely heartfelt thankyou's we can all share in eh? Had to smile at the fact that some of our recipients check Facebook to try and get a sneak peak…God love 'em. All cheers to the submariners…a special breed!


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