Written by AHQ

9 April 2013

As usual on Tuesday I have gathered in the thank you messages that have been received in the last couple of days and I think this first one is my favourite for tonight.

Hi Karen,
I cannot thank you enough for the quilt and laundry bag, the quilt has been used every night since I got it. I love the heat and sleep with a doona at home in 40 degrees, so even though it is very hot here in South Sudan, I always have my quilt. When I arrived I was very disappointed to find that we were only given a sheet, so I started sleeping with the air conditioning off, which meant the room quickly filled with mosquitoes, and with the Malaria here that isn’t ideal (we have mossie nets, but as soon as you get up to go to the toilet they swarm you). So now that I have my quilt I can return to the safety of sleeping with the air conditioning on.
Sorry that the reply was so late, the work load here has been very high since last year, I’m not sure how much news coverage it got in Australia, but the UN had a helicopter shot down just before Christmas, no Aussies on board thankfully, but since then there has been a lot of inquiries and new procedures needing to be developed for the safety of all in high threat areas.
My job here involves organising Casualty Evacuations for personnel injured in the field, this includes the local population who are involved in the cross fire as well as the local armed forces and UN personnel. It’s a challenging job and one that calls on us at any time of the day or night, we are in a 1 in 5 duty rotation, and we sometimes get some distressing calls, especially involving children.
I’ve made a lot of very good friends here from all around the world, and I’m keen to do another UN mission. Its unique in that you know you are doing a good thing for the people and they show their appreciation (mostly). You can see the developments every day and over the 6 months we are here the change is very evident. Working with people, military, police and civilian, from all around the work has been great, so many different cultures to experience and they are all so inviting, we often go to Fiji house and have traditional meals with them or Canada house to socialise and the Dutch also regularly have guests over, it will be our turn on Anzac day. I work in a team of 6, our team leader is Canadian and there is a Senegalese, a Ugandan, a Fijian and a Dutchman. We are a very close team and everyone works very hard, it is constantly changing with new personnel coming and going, and there is always training for new guys but always from the same nations as we are replaced with our own countrymen.
In general I think they really appreciate us being here, whenever possible I’ll pay them for a job and generally doesn’t need doing, but I think it is good that they are willing to work, so happy to help, like getting my vehicle cleaned, we get it cleaned on base for free, but I always get offers and it is generally only a couple of dollars and everyone is happy, same with getting my hair cut, I could do it myself (and probably a better job) but allowing the money to flow here is good.
Anyway, thank you again for your lovely gifts, they are very much appreciated and needed.

Last night I explained how I often seek permission to publish sections of thank you emails if they are more extensive than normal.  This was one such occasion   When I asked the author of the above email if I could publish the section of his email  this was his response (which he gave me unsolicited permission to publish as well)


I don’t mind at all that my message is posted. I hope that it isn’t too often that an email is not sent. I can assure you that everyone here has very much appreciated their quilts and the only reason I can think of them not responding is that they are unsure exactly how to express their gratitude, because it really is an amazing act.

Please feel free to post that paragraph also if you wish.

Again, many thanks to you, AHQ and all the ladies.

Kindest regards,

and another one for Karen

Hello Karen,
Thank you for the Laundry Bag and the effort involved in making such an item.
It has come in handy over here and it has made it easier to identify my washing upon pick up.
Laundry Bags are a great idea and I thank you again for the great gift. I will look after it as it will be used for years as I travel with the Army.
Please pass on my thanks to all who contribute their support to the troops overseas and back home

Dear Dasha,
Thank you very much for your quilt and laundry bag, plus the other wonderful things you put in the box.   How did you manage to get so much into such a small space?  It was a very kind and generous gesture.  The quilt arrived with me on 8 Mar, so that took about two weeks.  That is very good for mail, and it must have hit all the right points on time to get here so quickly….. Please also thank your daughter for introducing you to the Aussie Hero Quilts, otherwise I would not have had such a marvelous quilt and laundry bag.

If you are curious about the colour selection,[he asked for black and yellow] it is a fairly simple story.  I have been in the army now for 32 years.  However, I have only been in the Australian Army for the last 6 years, before that I was in the British Army for 26 years.  I served in the Staffordshire Regiment and the Regimental colours were black and yellow.  So, as I say a simple story.”

Dear Annette, Lynne and Carol
I am just dropping you a quick note to say thank you for the Aussie hero quilt 🙂
Your volunteer work and dedication is very much appreciated and I thank you for your support of me and all of us over here.
Your quilt is fantastic and keeps me warm while sitting down watching movies and getting some down time when I can, thank you also for your note it is nice to hear of people enjoying their spare time I am a tragic fisherman as well ( not due to my dedication but my tragic results at attempting to fish 😛 ).
Best of luck on your next fishing trip.
Thank you again for the quilt and your support.

Hello Louise,

I am writing to you to extend a huge thankyou for the very stylish laundry bag that you have sent to the Middle East.

I in Afghanistan. The conditions are quite harsh over here, and I really do feel for the young men ‘outside the wire’ braving a tenacious enemy day in and out. I have been deployed now for 2 months and have another 2 months remaining.  I can tell you that I am missing the beautiful Australian beaches and fresh air right now!

Well, thankyou again for the laundry bag. I am very touched by the very kind nature of Australians in donating items and food to us over here. It makes me very proud to serve for our great country and serve for the wonderful Australians like yourself.

Kindest regards,

The following thank you is for a quilt resulting from a quilt top Lynn sent me.

I received your quilt a couple of days ago and can I say a giant thank you for the time and effort that you must of put into the quilt and laundry bag. I have also stored the chocies away for a little later as right now I’m on a health kick and have currently shed 18 kg BUT I will be enjoying those on my next free meal off. I would also like to let you know the smiles I have seen on everyone that has received one of your team’s quilts face, I know for me personally it meant a lot to me and it something that I will look after and use for a long long time. I am trying to get everyone that got one to grab a group photo holding their quilt with the ships in the back ground to send to you, again thank you for all your efforts.


Hi Angela 
Many thank for the excellent quilt.
I have it currently on my bed and will send a picture as soon as I can.
Forgive me that it has taken a couple of weeks to reply but I have been away from my usual area for a month and have only just returned.

No photos for tonight’s post so instead I will leave you with some pictures of ANZAC Day in Afghanistan last year in the hope that it will act as inspiration for all of you with the ANZAC Day laundry bag challenge coming up.

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

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