Grati-Tuesday 27 Feb 18

Written by AHQ

27 February 2018

Hi all
Wherever you are, after the rainy day of the last 48 hours, I hope you are drying out and did not suffer any damage. 

Time to grab a cuppa and enjoy some of these messages.

Good Morning Ellen,
Just writing you this email to say ive got the quilt and laundry bag, you truly have made my day. I am truly blown away by your generosity, the smile on my face hasn’t gone. I’ve attached a photo, 
I’m the fella on the left.
If you ever find yourself in Adelaide please feel free to drop us a line, id love to show my appreciation.
Thanks again and I hope this years travels go well.

Kind Regards


Hi Jenny,

Thank you so very much for your package of goodies and your letter I really appreciate the laundry bag you made for me and it looks so good it makes me not want to use it haha, I’m not sure if your son would have said this to you or not but we don’t receive mail often especially because we are on a ship always moving from port to port but the packages from home from loved ones or from friends, or volunteers like yourself, really make a difference to morale and it brings home just that little bit not so far away so thank you very much for doing what you do.

I am a ‘Birdie’ which mean I work on aircraft, I am an ATA (Aviation Technician Aircraft) basically I do everything not electrical on our helicopter, We have a Romeo Seahawk on board and I have been with this ship since July 2017, I have been in defence since 2010 and this is the first time to the Middle East I have been on HMAS Canberra before as well, I have attached a photo of our helicopter and ship for you I hope you enjoy it,

I wish I could say I did it tough but your son in the army would have done it a lot tougher (I imagine),

I wish you all the best to you and your family,

Hi Maddy and Peter,

I’ve just returned from my relief out of country leave (ROCL) to find a parcel with my quilt in it.   Maddy, thank you so much for the lovely quilt you made. It is perfect!

It looks like you have included all of my hobbies and more. The fish and fishing gear you included are great, as are the shells, boats, lighthouses and beach scenes. The caravans by the beach with surfboards and umbrellas are great too and remind me of camping with my family, and with my best friend. 

What really blew me away were the quotes you included on the quilt. You chose them well – they make me think and reflect. But including quotes on my quilt was especially appropriate because I regularly quote phrases, verses and sayings to my family – it’s one of the things my girls expect from me. 

My quilt is very special! It is beautiful and includes all my hobbies – thank you so much. 

Kind regards,

Good morning Jan-Maree,

Today I received the most beautiful quilt (made by Jenny N)! I can’t believe that there are such beautiful and supportive families back in Australia whom are taking their time to create these for us. I am truly floored by the generosity and please extend my sincere thanks to you, your team and those who support this unique service.


Kind Regards,

Good Afternoon Cath W,

Thank you very much for your laundry bag, it looks amazing and I cannot describe how much it means to receive such an amazing bag.

A little about myself, I am 32 and am currently posted to XXXXX, so not too far down the road from yourself, my aunty and uncle live in WXXX but I never get to see them too often. I recently got married in October last year to my beautiful wife, we also have a daughter who is 10 and loves craft stuff. I deployed 3 weeks after I got married so I didn’t get to spend too much time at home with my wife after the wedding before deploying, luckily it was only a short deployment and I got to come home early.

I am also a massive lover of sport, you name it I love it, I am a massive Broncos fan and bought this year for the first time season tickets, so I can’t wait for 2 weeks when the season starts to see the boys run out on the field and hopefully bring home the trophy this year, I fully understand with detesting Manly the roosters and NSW I couldn’t agree more but I will also throw in the bulldogs I can’t stand them, one of my best mates supports them and he has turned me against them ha-ha. 

My mother has a massive love for sewing as well, she has thought of sewing some quilts or bags for aussie hero’s, after my dad passed away she seems to have a little more time on her hands, I have told her to give it a go so we will see how it all goes.

Anyway thank you very much laundry bag, I love it, you have done a remarkable job, we appreciate everything you guys do for us, it means a lot to receive a package whilst overseas it brings a smile to our face, it can be tough sometimes being so far away from our families so again thank you, I appreciate it and so does all the other troops who receive laundry bags and quilts from you guys.

Hope your husband is doing well and also yourself, keep up what you are doing, you do an amazing job.


Good afternoon Ellen,

A little while ago I received an Aussie Hero Quilt made by you for me. I am a member of the Royal Australian Air Force currently deployed in the Middle East Region. This is my second deployment, my first being East Timor and I have a few family members who are or have been in the RAAF. My grandfather and Uncle and my brother. Also my other grandfather was in the Army for a short time as an interpreter during the Second World War.

I wanted to thank you for giving up your time and making me this wonderful quilt. It makes an otherwise boring room more colourful. It is getting a good use on my bed now and I am sure will continue to be used at home.(if one of the kids don’t steal it)

Thank you for giving your time not only for me but all of the quilts you have made or will make. It is a great thing you are doing.


Good afternoon Ruth,

I am a member of the Royal Australian Air Force currently deployed overseas in the Middle East Region. Today I received the laundry bag that you made for me. I wanted to say thank you for putting the time and effort into making something for me. I am sure that I will use it for many years to come on exercise at home and on future deployments. It adds a little colour to an otherwise dreary backdrop.

Thank you again for your time not only for mine but for the many others that you may have made.



Dear Jean,
Thank you so much for the amazing laundry bag you have specially put together for me, it looks amazing and it’s everything I requested.
We are all so humbled to be receiving these laundry bags and quilts and are ever so grateful for all the work you and all the other volunteers put in.
I am 26 years old and live in Newcastle, I don’t have any kids but my partner and I have 2 beautiful fur babies who may as well be our children haha.
I can’t wait to go back home to them, I have been here since Oct 17.
Once again, words cannot tell you how appreciative I am.

Thank you

Dear Mrs Louise C

I recently received a laundry bag that was sent by you and your team at the Aussie Hero Quilts.  I wish to thank you for the very kind gesture that you have made.  I am currently serving with the Royal Australian Army in the Middle East Region and am deployed as part of the Air Task Group on Operation OKRA.  To receive packages from Australia is very comforting; knowing that you are being thought of and supported.  I thought I would tell you a little bit about what we are doing.

Whilst it is hard being away from family and friends, especially over holidays and family occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, we have very good support and activities planned that allow us to look after each other and keep morale high.

On behalf of the Soldiers, Airmen and women deployed with the Air Task Group, thank you for your continued support.
Dear Louise,
Thank you so much for the beautiful bag.  I realised afterwards that I may have asked for too much and was hoping I provided enough options for inspiration.  It is perfect!  I love the way you split UAE and AUS on each side.  The Oryx applique is brilliant.  My mother-in-law has started patch working/quilting in recent years and I have seen designs form and take shape.  I understand some of what is involved. 
You have made me something special and I really appreciate your time and effort.
Currently I am deployed on Operations in the Middle East and I am half way through my tour.  Thank you for the snack and supplies you added, they were appreciated by all.
My grandfather was an artillery SGT and his service inspired me to want to do more for my country.  I joined defence after completing a bachelor of science.  I am thankful for all the sacrifice that has been paid before me, and any service I can do to contribute and honour their memories is something I am very proud of.
We have a family trip planned for my return.  This will be our first big trip as a family and we are looking forward to it.  I am very much looking forward to a change in scenery.  I have travelled a bit while being in defence, but this is the longest and farthest I have been away from my family.  It is hard when I talk to my little girl and she asks if I am coming home tomorrow.  I will miss her starting pre-school, and I have already missed her birthday and Christmas.  My boy has started walking and talking while I have been gone, but his face lights up when I get to video call which warms my heart and helps keep me going.
Thank you for your support, your letter, and for your morale box!  Your gift is beautiful and I think you captured my intent and made a memento for me I will cherish.  It’s not just a laundry bag.
Kindest regards,
Thank you very much for my laundry bag, I loved it!  I have showed it to a lot of the guys and girls here as I’m so impressed with it and the photo of my dog.
Also, thank you for taking the time to write to me, it means a lot over here. 
It’s been a good deployment so far, but I still have a few months to go.
I’m looking forward to getting back home, but happy to be here all the same.
It’s just me and my dog back home, I miss her very much but I’m very thankful to have some good friends who are taking great care of her.
She means the world to me and is very spoilt, so hopefully she’ll forgive me for being away so long!
Thank you also for what you do for us over here, it really means so much to receive these gifts, it certainly makes our day!
I hope you have a great time on your trip in August.  I’m looking forward to getting home and taking some time off.  I just bought a house before I left and I have a few things I want to do to it when I get home.
Dear Louise,
Hello from the Middle East, it is actually getting cold here as well, as far as the Middle East gets cold.
Thank you very much for the bag it is perfect!  I love it!  I was using just a plastic bag for my laundry up until now so it is a definite upgrade.
I would just like to thank you again, it means a lot to know there are great people like yourself thinking of and sending myself and other deployed members care packages.  The next person to receive one of your laundry bags will like it as much as I do.
Have a wonderful day,

To Dear Sandy,
Thank you so much for my beautiful quilt, I absolutely love it.  Please thank Bronwyn S for taking the time out of her day to make this beautiful quilt for me.
It is so kind of you and your team to make these for us.  I’ve put mine on my bed and every time I see it, it puts a smile on my face.
I am so grateful for it, and I know I can speak for everyone over there that receives one.  When I say it means a lot to us that you and your team do such a kind thing for us.
Thank you again for my amazing quilt.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for you and your team.

Dear Beverley, 
Thank you so very much for my beautiful quilt.  I arrived at my desk on Wednesday morning to find the parcel waiting for me.
My mum is a quilter, and so I really appreciate the time and love that goes into making them, and yours is one I will hand down to my daughter one day.  Very special!
My parents are both mad lawn bowlers, both are living in Launceston and won’t travel anywhere during bowls season. 
Dad is now a part-time green keeper at his local club and mum is less than thrilled about it.
I’m Canberra based, heading home in April.  I have a ten year old daughter, whom I am really missing.
I’m excited for my mid-tour break in 2 weeks.  I’m heading home for a week then down to Melbourne for a few days.
Thank you again for your beautiful gift.  I will treasure it always.

G’day Lindsay,

I am contacting you to provide you the solace in knowing your hard-work has made it’s way to me in the Middle East.

I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for the effort you have clearly put into the both the quilt and laundry bag I was so pleased to receive.

Rest assured they add some much needed colour to a very bland environment. Upon reading your letter I am pleased that your evident skill in working with textiles also provides you a form of therapeutic benefit, however I am sure it is I who receives the true benefit as the climate here is currently cold and muddy.

I hope that thus far 2018 has and continues to be a kind year to you and your family.

Many thanks and kind regards,


Dear Robyn H,

I am emailing you to thank you for your wonderful laundry bag and letter.

I am an Able Seaman electronics technician in the Royal Australian Navy. I am on HMAS Sirius, an oil tanker that refuels and resupplies other warships and aircraft currently on missions and unable to return to the mainland to resupply. We are currently sailing and today we had a ‘clear lower deck’ (a meeting of all the ships company) in which all the members of the crew where called out by lottery to be presented with a laundry bag and ANZAC biscuits made by yourself and other kind and charitable people across our nation.

I feel particulary happy to have received yours (the bag with red tractors and wheat fields, I know other sailors have received bags of yours) as, though am I am not a country boy, I did spend four years working in country Queensland prior to joining the navy and my girlfriend is from a semi rural village outside Brisbane. Your laundry bag will be much used as when at sea laundry time, like most things, are rationed to save water, waste and time. this means that a week often goes by before I can do my laundry and this can develop into quite a pile!

 The arrival of your gift is also of very convenient timing; my partner had made me a nice laundry bag, but upon sailing away from our homeport ( Perth ), I found that I could not find it. For the last three weeks I have had to try and fit my washing in a reusuable coles shopping bag with only one handle, as you can imagine, it doesnt work very well!

Thank you for your gift and your letter as it has made my week. Best wishes to yourself and your husband Micheal.


Hi Sue,
Wanted to send you a message to say thank you!! I just received the quilt and the care package you sent to me. The quilt is amazing, I know the request was a bit out of the ordinary, but you did a superb job. Also thank you for taking the time on Christmas Eve to write in the card. I was sorry to hear about your mother and hope she is doing better now. The turducken sounds amazing by the way haha I will definitely have to try that when I get home. 
Sue thank you again for the time and effort you have put into the quilt.”
G’day Dot, Heather, and Dianne,

Thank you very much for the lovely laundry bag! We had them distributed to the ship’s crew today, everyone in our crew of 70 received one, and we all really appreciated the colours and quality of them!

Our ship, HMAS Sirius, is the Royal Australian Navy’s tanker and primary supply ship.  It is very nice to receive personalised gifts at sea, especially things we can make use of in our tight quarters.

I intend to make good use of this laundry bag (and I really love that its black and red!) but I also hope that I don’t spend too much more time at sea. I’ve been away from home (which is Rockingham, Western Australia) for 10 of the last 16 months. I am very much looking forward to getting back to my fiancee, and to our wedding later this year. We both are glad that I will be posting to a well-earned shore job in July.

I think that its really great that you support the Australian men and women who deploy to serve the country. Our jobs can be very busy, and the separation from home can make deployments difficult. We rely very heavily on the support from our partners, family, and friends. It is a very pleasant surprise and its very uplifting to receive a thoughtful gift from people we have never met!

Thank you very much for your support. I am sure that everyone who receives laundry bags, quilts, or any other carefully sewn gift from you will also be thankful for your work!

Jenny D,

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you so very much for my laundry “dobey” bag I received this week. I have served in the RAN for 16 years now and deployed on numerous occasions without giving it a second thought. The kindness you have shown in taking the time to personally hand craft something to make my life at sea a little more “homely” is truly appreciated. I am a bit of a gym junkie some would say so I am in that laundry on a daily basis wih all the washing I generate! I now have a dobey bag with the personal touch that brightens my day when the sun isn’t even up yet!!

I can’t thank you enough for the work you and all the team at AHQ do. It is appreciated by our sailors and Officers more than you will ever know. There is a lot of dobey bag flashing going on onboard at the moment from a crew that are just excited to be at sea doing their job!

Thanks again!


Hi Carol,

I just received your laundry bag and card from Aussie Hero Quilts.

The laundry bag is amazing, my son loves Toy Story so I think he will get good use out of it when I get home. It will be a nice present from Dad.

I would really like to thank you for your card. Your words really touched a chord with me and brought a tear to my eye when I read them. For some background. I have been in the Navy for 10 years now and am currently serving in HMAS Sirius  as Officer of the Watch and Communications and Information Systems Officer.  We are on exercise off the east coast however we are based are Garden Island, near Rockingham in WA.  I have a wife and two young kids (3.5 and 15 Months) who live in Canberra. I left home last year when the baby was 4 months old.

Your card has re-vitalized me and given me the drive to get through to September when I will post home for a few years and get to spend some time with my family. The needs of the many outweighs the sacrifice of the few, and the words in your card are exactly why I do what I do.

I wish all the best to you and your lovely family, and again, thank you very much. You really have touched me in a way that you couldn’t have imagined.

Kindest regards


As a preamble to this letter, Rita made the quilt for this recipient’s wife and she was actually lucky enough to meet her at our dinner last year. Now her husband is deployed and Rita was able to make her husband’s quilt as well. 

Dear Rita,
I received the Quilt a couple of weeks ago. Thank you so much it is beautiful.  I have taken so long to reply to your letter because I wanted to include a photo of me holding the quilt. However everyone has been on leave or working so getting some one down here at the accommodation block to actually take the photo has been challenging.
The quilt is truly magnificent.  Whilst some of the others I have seen are great, I think mine is a work of art!  A real African treat.  And I am glad you included the initials of Kath and the girls as requested. Makes it very special.
Thankyou for your letter. Yes it was good that Kath was able to meet you at the dinner.  She attends many functions as part of her work but I think she really enjoyed seeing all you good people who do so much for the troops. 
Well I will sign off for now. It is after midnight here.
I will send a picture as soon as I can.
Than you  and Best regards,

Dear Bev & Geoff 
I can’t thank you enough for the beautiful quilt ! just arrived ! It is gorgeous and it is always a lovely addition to the bland rooms here .We all love receiving Aussie Hero. Quilt parcels and we all share the amazing products you all produce.
Kind regards

 Hi Bev & Geoff
Thank you so much for the beautiful patchwork quilt and for all the quilts you have made .
In contrast to you it is very cold here. Work is busy and mostly indoors for me .
Kind regards.

Dear Bridget,

Thank you very much for taking the time to make this lovely quilt for me.

The work you all do is amazing and it is honestly greatly appreciated by all of us over here in the MER.

I have been in the Air Force for almost 11 years.  I am an Air Surveillance Operator (ASOP) by trade, and I am currently based in Edinburgh, SA.  This is my first deployment which was quite hard to be away from my family and friends over the Christmas period.

Thank you again for your amazing contributions to serving members.

I hope your Christmas and New Year was safe and enjoyable.

Kind regards,

G’day Christine T,
Just sending this in appreciation for the excellent West Coast Eagles quilt. Apologies for the delay in sending regards, have been away for a few weeks. All the men and women of No.2 Squadron greatly appreciate all the time and effort you have all put into the quilts and laundry bags over the past few years.
Many Thanks!

Dear Clarissa,
It was an absolute joy to receive the quilt that you made for me. I love that it includes a chickens and garden theme – these are truly dear things to me and and my wife and children and certainly add to the the sentimental value this quilt has to me. Moreover I was so impressed by the workmanship – the quality of stitching and embroidery is absolutely incredible. Your quilt will become my family’s heirloom I am sure. 
For me, the hardest thing about serving here in the Middle East is being away from family. My children are and 8, 10 and 12 (boy, boy, girl). In particular, my middle son dreaded me going away. In the days and weeks before I deployed, he would grab my hand and hold onto to me as if it was his way of somehow keeping me from going. Leaving them, and being away from them for seven months is most difficult for me. Nevertheless, I return home in two months time. I will take your quilt home and it will become part of the story and no-doubt will be treasured by my middle son. He likes to keep special things, and your quilt certainly has a special story.
Please pass on my gratitude to the wonderful group that sews for us. Some of my colleagues have also received quilts and they are very well-received by all.
Kind regards,


What a great bunch of messages. 
Till next time…. keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Robyn Hanstock

    It is always such a special treat to receive one of these thank you emails or letters. I was so surprised to open my email and find the one above as Jan-Maree had only taken the laundry bags to HMAS Sirius a few days before. So glad I could relieve the poor man from using a broken supermarket bag for his laundry!


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