Grati-Tuesday 4 Aug

Written by AHQ

4 August 2020

Woah! First week of August, can you believe it! Victorian’s my thoughts are with you as we’re well into week 1 of lock-downs and for everyone else reading along, I hope you are safe, happy and well. Better days are coming, I can feel it.


Hi Tamsin,
I just wanted to thank you for the Aussie Heroes Laundry Bag I received. I love it!
Thank you again and I appreciate the time you volunteer to make these special gifts.
My dear Jo,
Thank you so much for my beautiful quilt. It arrived this week and looks awesome – I have the Cranky Koala tattooed on my right calf – a bet with a North Melbourne Supporter that if our teams ever won their competitions we would celebrate. Reds won the Super Rugby in 2011 but it may never happen again!!
Thank you also for your kind words about my last job – I spent 6 years in that program – we went through the entire process. It was a very tiring and involved process and I was glad to come here. Ironic that I have come to a combat area as my respite posting!
My wife and I both finished high school in Queensland, about 20km away but met on exercise later on in the Army – In the Northern Territory. As a result, we tend to travel back to QLD every year up the coast road.
I am very happy to hear that Covid19 restrictions are being lifted – by our timeline it must be time for the second wave. 
We have the wonderful ability to positively draconian over here with masks, physical distancing, contact tracing and the ability to lock down bases and regions. We still have it – little clusters pop up here and there. The biggest issue for us, is the lack of leave. Normally, a six month tour would generate one 10-12 day leave break at home. Nine month would generate two and my 12 1/2 month tour would have generated three leave breaks. We have had to cut them, to lose a planner for the six week period (travel, quarantine, leave, quarantine, leave) is just not feasible over here. We are shortening tours now to six months, with no leave, but mine will be cut about by 25 days and I will get home, post travel and quarantine just short of the 12 months. Given we work 6 1/2 days a week every week, I will be ready to go by then.
Very Sincerely.
Good Morning,
On behalf of the crew, I’d like to personally thank you and your volunteers for your ongoing support.
I can’t thank you and your team enough 
Dear Jenny,
Hello from the Middle East!
I would like to thank you for the amazing quilt and laundry bag you made for me –  I cannot describe how much I love them both. It is a sea of tan over here and your colourful creations have been brightening my days!
I am now 3 months into my first deployment as an Administration Officer and loving every second of it. Deploying is something I have always wanted to do and feel privileged to have been selected so early in my career. I carry the title of being the youngest Officer in the team at 23 and get to celebrate my 24th Birthday here next month (which is incredibly exciting)!
I grew up in Queensland and joined the RAAF straight after graduating high school in 2014. I spent the first three years of my career completing a Bachelor of Business degree through ADFA, followed by two years in Northern Territory and I’m now in Victoria.
I have one older brother who is also in the RAAF as a pilot and a ragdoll cat who is currently being spoilt (and overfed) by my parents while I’m here. 

Thank you again for the incredible work you do for Aussie Heroes and putting the time aside for me and my comrades. I also loved the little treats you added into the packages!

Kindest regards and well wishes.

Hello Anne,
Firstly, I would like to say a Massive thank you for the most amazing quilt I have ever seen. I am so in love with it and put it straight on my bed as soon as I showed it off to everyone. The work that you and all the other volunteers do is incredible. You make so many people happy and everyone gets so excited when they receive their parcels. Your interpretation was spot on, I couldn’t have made it anywhere close to what you did.
As soon as we arrived we went into 14 days quarantine, and I had to share a room with 17 other ladies. I was quite concerned at first how we would all get along living so close together but it was actually one of the best things because we all got to know each other and have all become really great friends. Most of us even now, still walk together each night and support each other through things that happen throughout the day. Normally, when you arrive you go straight to work routines etc so don’t get to form close friendships with others you wouldn’t associate with but that’s the solver lining for us and I love it…
The restrictions here are still quite harsh. The Middle East are still getting upto 400 positive cases a day so we aren’t allowed out of camp at all. R&R runs have been cancelled for now and we aren’t getting leave unfortunately so won’t get to see family and friends until I get home. It’s kind of like living in jail I’d imagine. As soon as we walk out the gate to go to work, or for a walk we have to have a mask on and gloves on. We will all come back with some pretty amazing tan lines I’d imagine haha!
A little bit about myself… I am currently based in Victoria. I joined the Army in 2012, and was based in QLD for 6 1/2 years after being in Victoria. During 2018 I decided I needed a change and made the very wise move to Service transfer to the RAAF and here I am. I transferred in 2019 so haven’t been over very long but am loving it.
I love to run and go on a good hike. I grew up playing soccer and tennis and still do. My partner and I have just started a bit of golf also. He loves it and has been playing most weekends while I have been away. There is a 1000km run/walk over the course of deployment challenge. So I have signed up to that. Currently I have done 377km so feeling good, we also do Parkrun on Saturdays.
Once again, I would like to say Thank You for your time and effort and I hope that things back in Aus are starting to get back to a bit of ‘normality’. I am hoping that 2 week quarantine won’t exist by the time we get back later this year, and if it does, we can do it in the comfort of our own homes. Wait and see I guess.
Enjoy the nice cool weather, and best wishes for a better, more relaxed second half of the year. Your work is very much appreciated.
Kind regards. 
Dear Tamsin,
Thank you so much for the amazing quilt. It recently arrived and I was genuinely impressed with how great it looks. You really captured the theme I had in mind ‘Australian Army and Middle East Deployment’. Please pass along my thanks to Jodie too. You two are clearly very talented and artistic! They definitely arent standard issues over here, although, I certainly can’t complain about the food here. They take pretty good care of us, and while you occasionally miss the small things, like a home cooked meal, you certainly never go hungry.
I’m originally from the ACT, but have also lived in Canada so I don’t mind the cold. My partner is from QLD so feels it a bit more than me, but is always up for an adventure. She works for Defence as a civilian and we’ve got a four year old son together. He’s great fun but starting to miss me a bit now. We get to skype once or twice a week so it isn’t too bad but I’ve been gone for almost six months now. I’ve still got a few more to go before I can get back, followed by a few weeks in quarantine due to COVID-19 precautions, but then we’ll be re-united which will be great.
We couldn’t condut the usual gathering on ANZAC Day due to COVID-19 restrictions, but all took the time to remember the fallen and pay our respects.
I almost felt like I was sleeping under a piece of artwork the first night with the quilt because it looks so good. When I showed my soon, he was speechless. I think he was a bit jealous too. Lol.
As I write this, Australia appears to be winning their battle with COVID-19. Please ensure you and your family keep safe and healthy during these challenging times. I am also very humbled that even under such difficult circumstances; you took the time to make something for people like myself serving overseas in the Middle East. Thank you again.
Best regards.
Hi Ellen,
First off I want to say thank you so much for the amazing quilt, I love the way you have brought the dinosaur quilt to life. I absolutely love it!! It’s so amazing to have this opportunity to receive one of these quilts.
You can see the morale lift when people receive the quilts and get to show them off.
I’m relatively new to the ADF, having only been in for 2 and a half years now. During that time I have been posted to Queensland for the majority of that.
Again thank you so much for the time and effort that you put into the quilt. I love it.
Good Evening Ruth,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for my laundry bag which arrived today. 
Not only have you created a masterpiece but you have put a smile on my face. As with everyone else I really appreciate the hard work you have put into making something special for someone you have never met. I will hold onto this forever as a reminder that there are wonderful people in this world (who can sew unlike me – much to my mother’s disgrace).
I hope you and your family are remaining safe during covid.
Dear Pat,
Thank you for the time and effort you put into making my laundry bag. It was perfect and exactly what I was looking for. You’ve done a great job.
Kind regards,
Dear Lyn,
This is just a quick note to inform you that the quilt and laundry bag arrived yesterday. I am so humbled to have received such a quilt. 
It has been a strange year, for I have also been involved in Operation Bushfire Assist and Operation Covid-19 Assist before deployed to the Middle East. I have been here for a little over nine weeks with a bit over four months to go.
My partner and I have a wonderful little man. He just turned one. When I became aware of the quilts, I gave some ideas as to what I would like and as a lasting memory to have their names on it. What I received is just beautiful. I cannot believe someone I have never met would go to that amount of effort for me. I now have a family heirloom to pass onto my son when he is old enough.
I am originally from North Queensland, where my parents still live. Currently I am posted in New South Wales, however, I am expecting to be posted to Victoria next year. I was previously posted to South Australia for five years from 2010 – 2014. It is such a beautiful part of the country and I would be happy to get posted back if the opportunity came.
Once again, I cannot thank you enough for the quilt, and laundry bag. What you produce for us, is so special. These quilts and laundry bags will be cherished for many years to come. 
Good Afternoon Lisa,
I have been sent a video of my brother opening up for his parcel and the look on his face was what I was hoping for. Your team managed to bring not only myself but my brother and his wife to tears of joy with the quality of the work that was done with his quilt.
I am amazed every time I see the amazing effort that the quilters put into these quilts and cannot say thank you enough for what you do to bring a little bit of home to use while we are away.
Thank you
Good Morning Lisa,
I am so happy to say that I received my beautiful quilt and laundry bag on Wednesday.
I am so very humbled by this beautiful gesture and what you all do for us.
Warm Regards,
Good Morning Chris,
Thank you for taking time to support the defence force, something so little as a laundry bag can go so far. I am an Able Seaman Marine Technician with the Navy. I am based out of New South Wales, but today I am writing to you, stationed to help with NSW Police Force. We are assisting them on the borders to check premits of people trying to cross, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for people who drive for work everyday.
The fishing themed laundry bag instantly caught my eye as I am too quite a sporty person and back home in Tasmania where I am from, it is always a good day out with friends when we take the boat out and go and catch some flathead and cook them for dinner. I left home when I was 19, where I have my parents and a younger sister who I regularly keep in contact with and I travel home whenever I get the chance. I am now 23, living in New South Wales with my partner. I am currently near the completion of my certificate 3 in metal fabrication which I have been fortunate enough to have been trained up by the Navy. The Navy put through TAFE in Victoria. When I am working in New South Wales, my major role is maintaining and repairing a hull of the ships at the Naval base.
It is always good to have a bit of family rivalry with sport, it makes it a lot more exciting to watch. I have always been a Richmond fan and my Dad the hawks, we always used to travel to watch the matches, it was tough at first barracking for the tigs but now all the struggle has paid off. Unfortunately last grand final I couldn’t get tickets to the game but myself and a few friends went to the pub and it was just as fun.
Being from Tasmania it’s all about the hurricanes and the tigers when it comes to cricket season. I grew up playing cricket all the way through until I joined the Navy, it’s a bit hard now finding the time to commit to a team but sometimes the Navy holds cricket matches between different ships which is always fun and a great way to get to know new people.
This time I am only away from home for a month which isn’t too bad at all but the laundry bags becomes very useful so I don’t loose my uniform and other clothing items in the wash. 
It was so nice reading about your family, and it gave me the chance to take my mind off work. I hope everyone stays safe and before you now it everything will be back to normal.
Thank you once again for your kind gesture.
Hi Chris,
I am the recipient of your laundry bag, I was very intrigued by your letter, and the design you’ve placed on the laundry bag which is keeping morale high. It’s already been put to good use and I appreciate your time and effort in making it.
I’m 19 years of age, and I joined the Australian Army as a rifleman, at the age of 17 prior to that I was fresh out of High School after completing my Higher School Certificate. I am originally from NSW. I stay in very close contact with my family but have not seen them since last Christmas. I plan on seeing them again once Covid restrictions ease.
Again thanks for taking the time and effort to make and post the bag, its well appreciated.
Dear Robyn,
This card says it well. I am truly grateful for all the good things the Lord gives us. I am especially grateful for the quilt you have made me. It’s amazing.
Dear Robyn,
Words cannot express how humbled and thankful I am to receive your precious gift today. The quilt you designed is simply astonishing. I love it immensely and will treasure it for life. I am currently on deployment to the Middle East and although the accommodation is adequate it is rather drab and plain. Additionally the base is in a desert which lacks the rich variety of colour and the vibrancy of our plant and wild life. There are shrubs and plants that survive in the 50+ degree heat simply by constant water but it such a poor substitute to our beautiful home land. This beautiful quilt in my little room fills that colour deficit perfectly, it’s like a piece of Australia I can carry with me.
Everything about the way you’ve designed the quilt is amazing. In reading your description of its creation and the thought and effort that went into it, all I can say is I’m so sorry for being so vague and unhelpful in my request. I simply gave you my three favourite colours and my love of Jesus and our family. I had no idea the thought and planning that would have to go into designing it or I would have attempted to have been more specific and helpful. But having said that, what you have created has completely astonished me, it is more than I could have ever planned or hoped for.
Thanks also for your letter. It’s a blessing indeed and the first mail I’ve received in months since I’ve been away. 
At a personal level, I am married, and this month marks our 25th Wedding anniversary. Sadly, we’ll be apart but we have every intention on celebrating on my return. We have four children, two have moved out, and two are still home with us. Three boys and a girl who’s our youngest and the only one still at school, currently in year 10 and turning 15 this month.
Kind regards.
From our Facebook page;
I just wanted to say a huge thank you! My husband got his quilt today and we both shed a tear opening this heart felt parcel. My husband’s sister is currently deployed and she requested this quilt for him, and wanted to give him something special. He never imagined he would get a quilt as he was medically discharged back in 2015, and it will be so cherished now that he has his very own quilt that is such a perfect reflection of him. Thank you so much!
From our Facebook page;
AHQ, My quilt arrived last week. I am so very happy with it and glad I get to enjoy it before I head home. Thanks once again, it puts a big smile on my face.
Hello Ellen,
My daughter is on deployment with the RAAF. Just wanted to say how overwhelmed she was with the lovely quilt. I send her magazines, and foodie stuff but nothing like the quilt you made. I did make a couple of small quilts many years ago when the children were small but did them all by hand as I have no idea as to how to work a sewing machine. They took years to finish and were very much an amateur job.
She sent me a copy of the letter you wrote to her, it was lovely.
My husband, served in Vietnam, and my father and brothers were all Naval men, seems like the Military runs through our family.
Anyway, I really just wanted to say how much we appreciated the work you put into making this quilt. She told me today that even though it was 53C outside her room is obviously air conditioned and it is just lovely to put the blanket over the toes and knees.
Regards and have a good weekend.
Hi Sue,
Thank you so much for the blanket you’ve made for me. I appreciate all the effort you have put into it – you’ve really captured the essence of the mountains and the region surrounding. It looks amazing. I’m sorry it was one of the more challenging quilts you’ve created. I agree with the ‘jury’ on this one, the mixture of colours with the desert sands with the base of the mountains was an excellent inclusion.
The blokes are very jealous of the quilt you’ve made for me, and a few are kicking themselves that they hadn’t asked for one.
About me very quickly, I am from a Military family. My mum previously deployed to the Middle East in 2009, and my dad also did 30 years service in the Army. This is my first deployment to the Middle East, previously deploying on border protection operations onboard Navy vessels. I’m recently engaged to partner, and we live in South Australia, but my family is mostly in Western Australia. We have two cats. I turned 30 whilst I was deployed, I had originally planned to take my deployment leave for it, and travel but the coronavirus pandemic had other ideas.
I return later this year, and very much looking forward to not wearing a uniform every moment of the day,
Again, thank you so much.
Dear Jo,
I have just received my quilt and I am absolutely amazed with the outstanding work you and Judith have done. It more than meets what I had visioned and I am truly grateful for the time and thought you put into it!
I hope normality returns soon so you can return to travelling. Please pass on our thanks to the sewing group from everyone here. Everyone are loving their quilts and bags being sent here. We appreciate all your efforts.
Thank you again.
Good Afternoon Pennie,
I just wanted to send you a very quick email to thank you very much for my laundry bag. I would like to start with, Thank you for your very kind words.
I would like to say how amazing it is to have people like yourself out there, that dedicate your own time to do such amazing things for our serving members. To us, we are not special, we just do our jobs. The job that we have been trained to do, and to be given the opportunity to work for this great country and the amazing people that live here in Australia. I have had many opportunities to represent our country and our people, all ranging from Operation deployments, to representational duties in the USA. All of these duties I would just class as me doing my job, the job that I love, for the country I love.
What you do by hand making laundry bags, for our people, is amazing. Gifts like this, we cherish and brings a massive smile to our face. 
You definitely did have the correct tank appliqued on the front and the layout of the whole bag with everything from my name, the tank, the RAAC badge and the Commonwealth crest are amazing.
It was an absolute honour to receive my bag, and I use it daily for my washing. 
Thank you very much and please know that this gift is very special to me.
Kind regards.
Thank you for sharing the story of my quilt, you have put an amazing amount of thought into it. I am very grateful to receive it.
Ladies, you do a wonderful thing for so many Soldier’s, Sailors and Airmen,
Again, many thanks and happy sewing.
Dear Angela,
Thank you so much for the amazing quilt. 
You have captured the game fishing theme perfectly, I especially like the addition of the tag flag, it really topped it off, thanks for the suggestion. I’m honoured to receive the first quilt you have made for Aussie Hero Quilts. It really does mean a lot and brightens up my drab room.
A little about myself. I grew up in South Australia. My parents still live there, as do many of my long time friends. I spent most of my childhood on motorbikes, mountain bikes, water skiing, exporing local creeks and playing AFL. I fished most school holidays, where my grandparents retired at our holiday home. The target species for fishermen in SA are the King George Whiting and Snapper. These days the snapper in SA are amongst the largest in the country, with many fish still being caught 30+lb. We also have some great offshore fishing for Southern Bluefin tuna (upto 150kg, mainly around 15-30kg school fish), XL Yellowtail Kingfish (40+kg), Samson fish (45+kg) and many other reef species.
I joined the RAAF in 2001, as an 18yo, straight out of high school. I have had a diverse career in Avionics working on different aircraft and employed in many challenging roles. The first half of my career I worked on AP3-C Orion’s. I deployed operationally twice (2004 and 2007) and on countless other exercises, all around the world.  I am currently working on the E-7A Wedgetail, as a Maintenance Manager. I really enjoy the role and find it challenging! I am currently deployed, with a really good bunch of people. If I have learnt anything in my 19 year career, so far, it’s that the people you work with make all the difference!
I married my beautiful wife in 2007 and we have two gorgeous children 10, and 7. My wife is a hairdresser by trade and worked in South Australia for the 18 years we lived there. My daughter is a smart independent young lady, who plays competitive tennis… this is where we spend most of our week nights, training and weekends competing. She absolutely loves it and is competitive with the top girls of Australia, in her age group. My son, is a ratbag, who loves soccer, tramp and is now starting tennis. He also loves school, for socialising and stirring up his big sister, haha.
We moved to NSW at the start of 2019 with my new role. Its a beautiful area with access to many beaches, bays and open surf. We spend any spare time, whilst not at a kids sport, enjoying the beaches. I also try to get out fishing once a week, whether it’s off the beach at the end of our street for flatty, or fishing off the rocks for tuna and snapper. We sold our big boat, as we never got time to use it, only had it in the water 4 times in the last year. We still have a 6m boat, that is currently being rebuilt… for the last four years…
We have a caravan, that we purchased late last year. We did a trip to SA then across to Vic and home during the last Christmas holidays. We had some trips booked earlier this year, mostly planned around tennis tournaments, but unfortunately everything was cancelled due to covid. I’m itching to get away with the family when I return home from this deployment. We will probably head to meet up with some friends, provided everything doesn’t shut down again. Doesn’t look promising seeing the latest news.
Again, thank you for the amazing quilt and I really enjoyed reading your letter. 
Hopefully life starts returning to normal in the not to distant future.
Take care and stay safe.
Good Morning,
Unfortunately I was delayed in getting back home to Australia. Since being home I have been able to open my Aussie Hero Quilt package.
I really appreciate the team taking the time to create the quilt/bag for me. Thank you so much, they are so special and a gift I will treasure forever.
Thanks again.
Hi Pennie
A very sincere thanks to you and the whole team of ladies that sew these laundry bags for us. I love the minimal design you’ve done with the Evangelion theme. I knew it was a hard topic, but it turned out so great, so thank you for that 🙂
It’s been a long and hot trip over here. I’m based in the Middle East, and when I return home later this year it will have been around 6.5 months. Covid has made this trip painful, but as always you take the good with the bad, there have been some fun times as well.
Anyway just wanted to drop you a quick message to say thanks. 
Take care.
Dearest Clarissa,
Firstly, thank you for my laundry bag. It is amazing and you have done an exceptional job, especially considering the current circumstances. I was expecting the maroon and white colours but you have been able to add the Manly Sea Eagles emblem as well. I have read on the AHQ blog that there has been trouble getting fabric and being able to get to the post office.
HMAS Toowoomba is affectionately known around the fleet as the ‘purple pony’ so it is somewhat fitting that my laundry bag has shades of purple and maroon through it. As this sea posting to HMAS Toowoomba is my last, your laundry bag will forever remind me of my favourite job and where I got to make a difference in the world, and for that I am forever grateful.
A little about me, I am a Maritime Officer on board. It has been a very busy and unique deployment with the COVID pandemic, although not sure how it is effecting everyone back in Australia. It has affected us, in unique ways, difficulties in getting spare parts delivered from Australia to the Middle East and being restricted to the ship.
I grew up in Victoria, went to University before joining the Navy in 2001. I have posted to QLD, NSW for a decade (hence a Manly fan), and in 2018 moved to Western Australia. As I grew up in Victoria, I therefore follow AFL and barrack for Essendon and sometimes get to watch them play in WA. The NRL played some rugby 7 earlier this year, but we had already deployed so I have not been able to watch NRL in WA yet. I have a cat, and she is living with my parents while I am deployed. My dad was no so keen to have her stay, but they are now best friends and she sits on his lap. All of my family still live in Victoria and I try to visit when I can. When we return from this trip, it will be the first time they haven’t been to one of my important Navy milestones, but hopefully it will be streamed so they can watch it via the internet. 
Once again, thank you for my laundry bag, and thinking of the Defence Force deployed overseas. The care packages that we have received over this deployment has been amazing and delivered at the most pertinent time.
Yours Aye.
Hi Bridget,
Just wanted to reach out and say thank you for the quilt and washing bag. I received it last week which is far faster than I had anticipated, you and the team must work very quickly given the whopping number of quilts and bags you’ve produced since 2012. All I can say is keep up the amazing work you do, it’s a huge morale boost and extremely humbling to receive something so thoughtful like this from a total stranger who is just trying their best to say thank you for the work we do. I also loved your letter attached explaining how the quilts came to be and even the time you took to share your family’s story with me. Since I’ve learnt so much about you I thought it would be nice if I shared some of my story with you.
I am currently deployed in the Middle East for 6 months. However, I am sure you can appreciate I can’t share the full details. This is my first trip to the Middle East and it’s certainly been an eye opening experience. COVID is having a massive impact here so it’s certainly changed the way we do things. However it hasn’t made us lose sight of the big picture which is to hand over a safe and more stable country to the people that live here.
I am married to my amazing wife who’se back at home in New South Wales, and pregnant with our first child. She’s due early next year so I should be home in time to help to welcome our baby into the world. I feel like the quilt and bag you gave will continue to serve me well as a rug for our new baby to lay on when I return home.
 I left school and started an apprenticeship as an electrician (which I hated). I pursued it for 2 years before I gave it away in search of something else.  Luckily I decided to join the Army Reserve and it just began from there. I realised I really enjoyed it. Over the five years I’ve been in the unit I’ve been all around the world and had the most amazing experiences.
We had a schnauzer x poodle growing up and he was such a fantastic and loving dogs. It’s certainly a challenge in of itself and something that my wife and I have only recently undertaken ourselves. We adopted a staffy a few years ago and essentially took up a very difficult dog with lots of behavioural and emotional problems. It was a very bumpy and emotional road but we persevered with him (we came close a few times to giving up) and now enjoy a very loving and loyal dog today.
Anyway just wanted to say thanks again for everything you and your team do. I hope you and your family stay happy and healthy and continue to support each other through this pandemic.
Kind regards.



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