Grati-Tuesday 26 Nov

Written by AHQ

26 November 2013

Well, I am now safely in Murwillumbah in the home of my hosts for the next two nights, Sue and Vince F.  Not only has Sue made a good number of quilts and laundry bags for us, but their son is one of my personal recipients.  I have some fun things planned for the next couple of days including a visit to the Old Bags and the Dags on Thursday. Photos when I can.

For tonight we have a few thank you messages to enjoy.  Firstly I had the pleasure of sending a quilt to this fellow, friend of a past recipient of mine from last year.  This gorgeous quilt was made by Lynn.  The person that he refers to in the email (XXXX) is the mother of the friend who received my quilt.

Hi Jan-Maree.
I would like to write to say a BIG thank you for the wonderful quilt and laundry bag you have sent to me. I have been travelling around for the past month or two and when I arrived back I received this wonderful parcel. It is spectacular! Please pass on my sincere thanks to Lynn and Stephanie also for generously giving their time and fantastic quilting skills to do such nice work for us.
I had a feeling when I saw the parcel it would be from XXXX. But for a change, it wasn’t one of hers (although it seems she had a bit if a hand in it…) XXXX has sent me a number of care packages throughout my tour.   Thanks to you, XXXX, Stephanie and Lynn and so many other kind people from back in Australia, for helping brighten the day of so many Australian soldiers. Your thoughts and generosity are very much appreciated here in Afghanistan and very much make the day of all those who receive your parcels.
This is my third and final tour here, and it is now almost coming to an end. I expect to be home with my wife (and our two dogs) within a month. This is great as I wasn’t expecting to be home until after Christmas. 
I have attached a photo of myself with my quilt sitting in pride of place on my bunk. Please pass this on to Lynn and Stephanie so they can see their hard work is being well received. It is also winter here and I need all the warmth I can get!!! 🙂
Thanks again to you all for the wonderful gifts you have given to so many Australian Soldiers. You are truly doing very selfless and inspiring work. We appreciate it greatly.
Kind regards,

This fellow received one of our Block of the Month quilts.  He is one of my distributors so I wanted him to have one something a little special for helping out.

Hi Jan-Maree,

Thank you ever so much for the magnificent quilt. My wife is also keen sewer so I can appreciate all the effort that has gone into making my quilt. As I never really expected anything, it was a really very nice surprise and adds that extra touch that my room was lacking.
On the laundry bags front, I have had a rather successful couple of weeks distributing them among the new personnel that have arrived. Due to my work commitments, I have found a couple secure areas around the base to alternate between, where I can leave a selection of bags for people to help them self and I now just keep replenishing them as required. 
Of the bags received from last deliveries from Judy C, Katherine, Sue N, Joan & Robin I have about 12 or so left to share around. Please pass on my thanks to all the wonderful ladies for their laundry bags and the little treats they often include in the parcels.
With Christmas fast approaching the decorations that have been included in parcels will be going up around the work areas soon to give that extra Christmas spirit.
Thank you for all that Aussie Hero Quilts / laundry bags have done and while our personnel numbers may be reducing, these wonderful, very useful and colourful items from home will continue to be very much appreciated by those that are still yet to receive one.
Kindest regards,

Tina, thank you for the fantastic aussie hero quilt that was sent to me, it is perfect! Words can not express the gratitude I have for your support not only to me but also to all the deployed forces that your wonderful organisation so kindly supports. It is comforting to know we are appreciated!!

Keep up the good work, you should be justifiably proud of your efforts!

With best wishes

Hi Laurel,

I recently received one of your amazing quilts.
I just wanted to say thank you, you have done an amazing job and my room now looks so much better.  I have been Deployed for the last 7months and I’m due to go home just before Christmas. This was my second deployment here and it is made a lot easier with all the support from back home.  I hope this email finds you well, and I look forward to hearing back from you. 

And for another BOM quilt.

I would just like to say a big thanks for my quilt i received today. It amazing the work all you ladies are doing for us in the service currently away on deployment. thanks again Jan – Maree I have the best looking bed cover in the room 


Hello Joan and Robin,

I would like to thank you thinking of me and sending the apple laundry bag and Top Gear Magazine. While in these days we have a lot available to us when deployed it is always fantastic to receive a parcel from home. The laundry bag is brilliant and yes, it will get plenty of use here and does brighten my room immensely.  Not only that I’m very sure when my deployment is over around June next year my four year old son and 2 year old daughter will make it theirs and use it for anything and everything you could imagine.

Thank you once again


A big thank you for the laundry bag I have managed to obtain yesterday. My old one (a purchased version) finally went to laundry bag heaven and I was lucky to score the one you made in Jan this year.
So once again thanks very much.

A little about this place. It is a balmy 7 degrees C, with clear blue skies, mountains all around Tarin Kot and the higher peaks have snow on them. We are currently in the process of packing up to leave here with the intent of the majority of us being home by XMAS. I read from you note that you moved from CXX to TXXX recently so will understand the hassle of packing up and moving from a 3rd world country back to Australia. It is certainly interesting.

I am normally stationed in XXXX and I left home in February for training, deployed here in May; so it has been a long time away.  This will be my last deployment as I will retire in the next year or so after 40 years of service (by then). I was adding up my time away from family and I stopped counting at 25 years. So I reckon I owe something to them.
Once again, thanks very much for the laundry bag. The assistance provided by people like yourself makes the service worth it.


Hi Leesa,
Well I have managed to find some time finally thank you for your wonderful efforts on the quilt you put together for me.  I am not sure how many soldiers actually write back to the people that put these quilts together but I wanted to make sure I was one of the ones who did.

It is people like yourself that bring a smile to deployed soldiers wherever they may be posted across this harsh land we are sent to.  And that is important as moral is the key to mentally surviving over here for our deployment time.
I will send a pic of the quilt the first chance I get but rest assured that with winter setting in at Kabul, it is being used on a nightly basis.

I’m sure that is an extra special task for yourself  binding these quilts as you hubby is ex service and would have appreciated one himself.  It means a lot to provide a smile and some comfort to our deployed troops.
With that, I thank you again for your time and efforts and send thanks on behalf of my wonderful partner who organised it.
Warm regards,

Finally up who remembers this lovely blue sharks Mystery Quilt.  This poor fellow off HMAS Newcastle requested a quilt and for the first time (that I know of) I sent him a laundry bag instead and I only picked up my error by chance.  Gasp!  I felt awful so I promised him a quilt when he came home. He was soooo lovely about it that I knew it had to be a good one.  

Didn’t it turn out beautifully and 

wasn’t Kym’s quilting the perfect finishing touch.

Dear Jan-Maree
The quilt arrived yesterday safe and sound. Thank you so much it is greatly appreciated. It has definitely been worth the wait..

Hello O’l Bags and a Dag,
Well today I received a parcel in the mail that has put me on top of the world. I have been in the Air Force for 27 years and been deployed to a lot of places around the world including Sudan, East Timor, Bougainville, two tours to Iraq and now on my third to Afghanistan. I have received a lot of mail and care packages over the years whilst I have been deployed however, when I opened yours today I was truly amazed. I have been in Afghanistan since September and I’m due home in April next year so I get to spend my third Christmas away from my family.
I have a small team of 6 personal here with me and two of them are only 21 so at times I guess it’s like being here with my kids anyway. This is the first deployment for the rest of my team so we will look out for each other and enjoy a Christmas lunch with all of the troops here. The support that we get from groups such as yours only enforces the reason as to why I am here.  We believe in the job we are doing and are all very proud to be here as members of the Australian Defence Force.
I really enjoyed reading a little about you all and feel truly blessed to have received my amazing quilt. It has arrived just in time as the weather has turned quite cold now.  So once again thank you Harold, Bertha, Elsie, Audrey, Eileen, Barbara, Jean, Bebs, Elaine, Joyce, Marcia, and Margaret for making my day. I love the quilt and will cherish it for many many years to come.

I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Well, I am signing out tonight from downtown Murwillumbah!  

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

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