Grati-Tuesday 3 March 2020

Written by AHQ

3 March 2020

You have got to love these thank yous.. lots of thanks for laundry bags in this batch, some reportedly “too nice to use so they are going to be framed”.


Hello Kerry,

First of all I just want to say thank you so much.

I received your package yesterday, when I opened it and saw Tim Tams so I knew this was going to be good day. Then I saw chewing gum (perfect) and a hand written letter, which I haven’t received since I was a kid, back when I used to get love letters from all the girls, haha.

So, before I even got to the bag I was happy as Larry, then I saw the cup… With my name on it!!! Not an easy feat, so a very well done for that. Next was the bag… I was blown away by how amazing it is. I have shown all the guys here and they are in awe as to how good it is.

I have 4 weeks left till I get home to see my wife and 4 boys and this has come at the best time. The last month always drags on and this has brought my spirits back up so a huge thank you for that.
If all the work you do for us is as good as this, you have nothing to be nervous about. It is amazing.

One of the hardest things about being away, apart from missing family, has been feeling helpless during the fires back home. I know we have a job to do here but our home is burning and we should be out there helping. All the firefighters here feel the same.

I can’t thank you enough for this amazing gift you have given me. The Tim Tams will be put to good use, although my mid-section might disagree, haha. The cup will be my work cup when I get back home from now on, so when I have a coffee, which I have a lot, I will think of you. The bag will be hung up in my garage, which is sort of my man cave, with my other collectables.

Thank you again, I hope you get comfortable in your new location and I hope your family in Gippsland recover quickly from the fires


G’day April

I’m just writing to say thank you so much for the quilt. It has been received and is beautiful – you have clearly spent an lot of time and effort designing it, and it shows.

In the past, I spent my summers on a dairy farm, in the irrigation country just north of Bendigo, so I’m relatively familiar with your part of the world. Thank you for your dedicated service to the local fire service – it is certainly a challenging role in country areas where you are expected to fulfil so many functions. I hope that the recent rains and cooler weather has brought you and your colleagues some relief as I well remember how hot summers can be down there. 

Having grown up on a property  in the Blue Mountains, I am all too familiar with bushfires and the devastation they leave behind. While the loss of people’s homes is always hard, I am always more saddened by the effect on wildlife and stock unable to escape the flames – the waiting is bad, but the clean-up is the worst. I trust you, your friends and your family are faring okay in the aftermath.

It is certainly an exciting and historic time to be here in Afghanistan. I only have a month to go here until I get home to my wife and two young daughters – the months have gone so quickly. I know that my girls  (particularly my elder 3 year old) will love what you have created.

Thanks so much the Rabbits washing bag.  I have received compliments and grief about my bag and loved each occasion to discuss and remember the kindness of people back home to send gifts but more important, to remember that we serve our people back home and be remembered for that.  Any gift sends happiness through the small detachment we have here.  
Thank you for your efforts and please send my regards to those who serve us making and sending such fine gifts 

Hi Jan-Maree,

I would like to pass on my thanks to you and your amazing volunteers in particular Heather B and Anne Hnr who have gone to so much effort in putting together my quilt and laundry bag. I have written to both Heather and Anne separately but I know a thankyou is always appreciated.

With most of the task group now having received their quilts it is great to see so many quilts in peoples rooms or laundry bags being put to good use.

I am about half way though the deployment now and having a great time. The opportunity to work with so many other nations in training the Iraqi Security Forces is an experience that I will never forget.

I hope all is well back in Australia and please send my thanks and regards to your volunteers to work tirelessly to support our soldiers overseas.

Thanks again,


Hi Heather,
I am an Australian soldier serving on Operation OKRA.  Before I introduce myself, I would first like to say thank you so much for your time and effort in making my Aussie Hero Quilt. As an Australian Defence Force member it truly means a lot to receive your hand stitched quilt. I received my quilt a couple of weeks ago opening it up straight away. It really put a smile on my face to see my green quilt and also some Tim Tams.
By way of introduction, I am 27 years old and from South Australia. 
It is a farming belt on the edge of the Barossa Valley. Since joining the Army in 2011 I have been posted to Canberra, Darwin, Wagga Wagga and back to Darwin where I am currently posted. Back in Darwin I leave behind my wife and son who turns three in April. Like many people within the defence I have come from a family with a proud military background. This includes 2 x great uncles that served PNG on Kokoda (one of which is buried there), my father who has previously deployed to Malaysia, Iraq and Afghanistan, 2 x brothers that have served in the Army and a cousin who continues to serve in the Royal Australian Navy.  
Being deployed has been the highlight of my career. The environment here is challenging and working with so many other nations has created some excellent friendships. Iraq is in the late stages of winter recently having a once in a hundred year snow. The weather is much like Canberra weather in that it is cold but clear skies make it nice. When it rains here everything turns to mud and you seem to grow 3 inches whenever you have to walk anywhere.

Thank you again for making my quilt and know it is being put to good use.

Best wishes and please pass my regards to your husband.

Hi Jenny,

Just writing to thank you for your support and for supplying us all with the wonderful laundry bags. I received my second laundry bag today, while posted to HMAS Hobart, after receiving one many years ago whilst I was posted to HMAS Melbourne and deployed to the Middle East. That bag was a little worse for wear after years of use, so it was extremely timely and helpful to be given this one as a replacement.

Thanks again for yours and Aussie Heroes support, we all appreciate it and the very useful items you supply.

Dear Jean,
Thank you very mmuch for the amazing laundry bag. I think it is absolutely perfect. 

This is my 5th deployment in my 18 years with the RAAF.  In a few months I’ll go home to my wife and two daughters, 8 and 6.  We also have a 4mth old border collie keeping my wife busy.

My mum and mother-in-law are both quilters too and with both of them retiring this year. I wonder if they’d like to join your amazing group. 

I hope all is well back home and that the rain has finally sorted ut the bushfires. 

Thank you again. 


Dear Jean

Thank yo uso much for the wonderful laundry bag. Thre is only one thing wrong with it.  It is too nice to wash.

I am stoked with how it turned out, you truly are a master of your trade. 

Thank you again so very much. 


Dear Susan,

Oh my, what a lovely surprise to receive my laundry bag.  The care and attention you put into it made me feel incredibly special and very humbled.  The running and poppies are just perfect.

I am a Mum to two girls, 11 and 8.  We are all doing it tough being apart and your laundry bag makes my heart a little happier on the days it is heavy being apart from my babies.

Thank you for what you do; supporting me in what I do.

God Bless you Susan.

Dear Pennie,

I wanted to let you know that you’re laundry bag and quilt have safely made it to the Middle East! Thank you for the time, effort and creative energy that has gone into making the items. I thought I had set a very tough request when I asked for something “pharmacy-themed”, but, you’ve hit the nail on the head! My favourite part of your creations is the initials on the laundry bag. Being an “MW” I keep finding myself holding it upside down!

A little about me. I’m originally from west of Brisbane, but am posted to Canberra at the moment. I joined Air Force back in 2015 while I was finishing my pharmacy training. This has been my first deployment. My job here is to run the pharmacy in our health centre. The facility operates very much like a big GP practice and I work with doctors, nurses and medics to look after the base population. It has been a great experience so far and I’ve really enjoyed working with other like-minded health professionals. When I’m not playing Air Force Pharmacist I do enjoy to travel with my identical twin. He’s also a pharmacist for Defence which as  you can imagine can cause some confusion from time to time!

Thank you for all that you do with the quilts and laundry bags. There is always quite a bit of fanfare when the Aussie Hero parcels arrive in the mail so it was very special for me to have my turn the other day.

Wishing you and your family all the best for 2020. Thank you again.

Kind regards,


Dear Ruth,
I have received the Laundry Bag you made me after some wait (due to mail delay to Middle East). And it made me very happy to see what you have done.
It brings much happiness to us all (serving overseas) to have these gifts and to know you are thinking of us.
We show each other the gifts we receive and all of them have been nice. My Laundry Bag will stay with me as a special reminder of you and my deployment.
Thank you again and I want to tell you that the mission is going well and we are all healthy and safe

Kind regards,

Good morning Marilyn,

Firstly, thank you so much for the laundry bag and goodies. I do enjoy the fish.

To answer your questions, I have been in the army for 20 years this June. I am an Infantryman by trade and back in Australia I am posted to the 5th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment located in Darwin.

Home for me is an unusual one. I am from an Army family and never really lived in one place long enough to call home. Currently my family live in Melbourne and have been since Jan 2017. I guess that’s home for now.  I have a wife and three boys.

Thanks again for taking the time out of your day to write and make this awesome package up for me. It’s very humbling to know that complete strangers care enough to support us.


Hi Kate,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you for the fantastic light horse laundry bag. It completely exceeded my expectations, and I admit it’s far too good to use for my laundry. I think I’ll take it home and frame it! Also thank you for the goodies from home, yes, TimTams are the currency of choice when dealing with host nation and coalition partners.

I’m currently 5 months through my tour, and while morale is high and we are achieving our mission (generating air to air tanker refuelling missions) the thought of coming home in a few more weeks is tantalising. My wife and three boys (14, 13, and 8) are keen to have me home after missing Christmas, birthdays, anniversary and soon Easter. Over here we have been watching the fires at home, now relieved to finally see the summer rains arrive.  I hope your move goes smoothly. I grew up on the Sunshine Coast, I recommend taking a side trip over the hinterland (Maleny, Montville, Mapleton) while going past the coast on your way to Bundaberg.

Thanks again for brightening up my deployment!


Good afternoon Jenni,

I would like to advise you that an awesome Star Wars quilt, with matching laundry bag, has arrived in my location. 

I would like to offer my sincere gratitude for the quilt and laundry bag, they have certainly brightened both my room and my day. I would also like to thank you for the accompanying box, which arrived at the same time.

Many thanks for your time and effort.

Hi Ruth ,
The laundry bag is awesome! It’s so good that I don’t want to use it.

Making one laundry bag is awesome, you have made over 534! This makes you a legend, a true friend of the  ADF. You cannot understand how special things like this makes us feel and the joy it brings. I’m going to weigh in on the puppy debate, he looks like baby Lucky, so clearly a retriever. There are lots of jealous people on base now , so I might have to guard the bag. A big thank you.

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

Jan-Maree xx

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