Grati-Tuesday 4 Jun 19

Written by AHQ

4 June 2019

Good afternoon all,

Here are the gratitude posts for this week… some lovely messages that remind us why we sew for our troops.. It is clear that what we are doing has an impact on morale.

Dear Georgina,

Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you for my lovely quilt, as soon as I opened it I could tell the amount of love, time, thought and effort that was spent making it. I am halfway through my deployment now and it lifted my spirits to receive something that reminds me of home and the things I love and enjoy. Oh my the picture of the Lama and the Australian rugby ball on Frangipanis is perfect!!! Could not have imagined it better, makes me smile so much every time I look at it! I really like also how my quilt and laundry bag match so well!!

Wow it sounds as though you have been very busy raising 3 boys, and it is understandable that it would be a quiet house now! For us, receiving our Aussie quilt/laundry bag is a big highlight of being deployed, I appreciate every bit of thought and time you all put into making the quilts something we will always have and to remember the support you give us when we’re missing home or are away. It is getting quite hot here now but its lovely having the air con set cold and being able to snuggle up under my quilt at night.

As a way of introduction I am 20 years old and grew up in QLD, by the request on my bag (The Rising Sun) you can guess I am in the army. I have been in for 3 years and joining has been one of the best decisions of my life so far, like your son I have done some amazing things and met some great friends. I play rugby in the ADF and was actually in Canberra quite a bit last year playing, if you’re interested you should come and watch next year! I am in movements which is a busy job here and at home but very rewarding as we contribute a lot of support to troops around the region. In July I am heading to Europe for my leave, doing a Contiki and visiting my family in London. My 21st birthday will be spent in Paris which will be one to remember.

Again, thank you for your support Georgina and the lovely quilt which I will have for many years to come! And I hope you like the photos I have attached.

I hope you have a great day.
Warm regards,


Dear Lynne,

I wanted to write to you to thank you for the time and effort you have put into sending out a wonderful gift such as the laundry bag which has ended up in my possession. Whilst the HMAS Success is due to decommission in a few short weeks, I recently noticed the Command Warrant Officer (Angela Miranda) still handing some of these laundry bags to new joiners. I asked her why I had not received one last year when I joined. As it turned out I had indeed received one but had inadvertently sent it to the previous XO as I thought it was something they had left behind. Regardless I am pleased to say that I now have one of these wonderful and cherished laundry bags and it will provide me great service for years to come.

A little about myself; I joined the RAN over 23 years ago as a Boatswains Mate sailor and after 10 years as a sailor and having been promoted to Petty Officer I received my Commission. I have as a Maritime Warfare Officer undertaken a number of sea and shore postings including being the Commanding Officer of patrol boats HMAS Bundaberg and Childers as well as my current posting in Success

I thank you very much for you dedication to our service men and women, it really does mean the world to us that we have the support of people like you back home.

After over four months away we will be back in Sydney on the 16th of June which everyone is very much looking forward to.

Good evening Sue,

Today I was lucky enough today to receive your Hero quilt laundry bag and gifts in the mail! Thankyou so much for all the effort and thought you have put into making this amazing bag. I love it! I think it’s such an amazing idea and really does bring a smile to my face after a very long deployment! This is my 4th deployment now and I am close to heading home to my wife and daughter (1) and son (3). I cannot wait to show them my bag, especially my son who loves everything to do with the beach and ocean. 
So once again thankyou for the amazing gift and I really do appreciate and admire all of you who dedicate your time and skills to bringing a little bit joy to all of us far away from home!!


Hello Ruth,
Thank you so much for brightening up my day with my laundry bag.

I love your story and it is awesome to know that people are still so giving and selfless. The world would be a much better place with more nana Ruths’ and I am sure that your grandchildren are very proud of their Nana as well.

We have been away for seven months now and still have a few to go. People have been very thoughtful taking time for us.

When I read your card and saw L.B it reminded me of my bird L.B (little bit). I have two very loved dogs that I miss very much and cannot wait to see them.

Take care Ruth and thank you so much.

To Aussie Heroes Sewing Team

I am currently deployed in operations.  I have received your beautiful quilt and it is simply amazing. I cannot express enough how much it means to me to get something like this from home. A little piece of Australian to have over here.  I would especially like to thank Di G, Mary M and Jenny Da for sewing and putting together this quilt. 

I would also like to thank Sandy C and all the other fantastic ladies who take the time and effort to make this all come true. 
Again I cannot express the gratitude and thanks for the quilt. 
When I am finally back home I’ll have a beer for all of you.

Dear Ellen,
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the beautiful quilt you made me. It has really made my deployment! All my favourite things too, and at such short notice, I really appreciate it  I’ve attached a photo of me with the quilt in my ‘sick bay’. This is my work place on the ship, and I share this and a small office area with two medics (as you may know, medics in the Navy are trained as sort of half way between paramedics and ENs). So interesting that you’re a nurse!

Anyway, the deployment has been going well so far. People keeping me busy – a few interesting cases, but a majority of ‘manflu’ and musculoskeletal injuries (from people attempting gym exercises when the ship is rolling around in the ocean…), other than that people are behaving themselves which is good  

Other than the main part of the job, the bit I enjoy most are probably the port visits – it is definitely an amazing way to see the world! We generally go to sea for anywhere between 2 weeks and a month, and then have a few days alongside. A lot of the time I’ll still have work, like taking people to hospitals or getting scans done, but when we get time off it’s great. Seeing a lot of new countries which is always good!

Thank you again – it really is appreciated!


Dear Sandy, Jeanette, Mary M and Mary B,

Thank you so much for all your efforts on my absolutely FANTASTIC quilt. I’m so excited to return to my room now that it looks so homely with the quilt.
I hope you had a great summer with hours spent with family on the beach. That is definitely what I’d be doing if I were home. It’s a different kind of challenge being away from family (including my fat labrador named Moses) and away from the usual activities I would indulge in back home, like hiking and scuba diving. While I really cannot complain about my conditions here I look forward to coming home to clean air, a few cheeky beers and a massive parma!

I look forward to returning to Sydney which is where I am posted and enjoy all the best things about Australia.  Until then, the quilt will keep me thinking of home and in great spirits.

Again, a massive and heartfelt “Thank You!” for your contribution. You have really made my deployment an even more special one. Cannot wait to show Mum the quilt! It will be a prized possession.
With all the love and gratitude,

P.S. Shared the TimTams with the team. They were gone in under a minute! 

Dear Ashleigh,

Thank you for the wonderful hero quilt – it’s getting plenty of use already. I even took it to work to show off to my international colleagues. The other Australians are very envious as well and I suspect that they will submit their applications.

Currently I’m in South Sudan on a United Nations Mission as a Strategic Movements Officer. It’s very different from anything I’ve experienced before but is eerily similar to how we operate in the Australian Army. I am particularly fortunate to work with eight other nations in the one office and we have the most interaction with the South Sudanese government and military officials. It can be frustrating at times but it is also very rewarding as we plan and execute our plans.

I have served in the Australian Army for 27 years and I’ve enjoyed a career as a soldier before transferring over to be a commissioned officer in 2014. I am based in Townsville in Army’s largest unit and my wife is a serving member as well. She is in the Air Force and loves the comradery. I must sign off now but again, thank you for your time and lovely quilt.

The Tim Tams were a welcomed addition which I shared with my colleagues. It was very thoughtful, thank you.

Warm regards,

Hello Lorraine,

I was privileged to have received one of your wonderful laundry bags yesterday.  Thank you so much for your time, skill  and thoughts in making this bag – it is truly appreciated.  And thank you for sharing your history of your father and your own experience with floods.

I was very fortunate and my family and I only suffered a leaky roof, and I know the laundry bags are much appreciated by the soldiers in North Queensland.  It was a great opportunity to support the actual community that we live and work in.  I was fortunate in that I did a lot of the coordination but did not conduct any of the clean-up work besides my own house!

I really wanted to say thank you for the laundry bag design as well, that of a grizzly bear.  As it happens I am an American (now married to an Australia) but I was in the Marine Corps in the States, so seeing the grizzly bear was a heart-warming surprise.

Thank you again for your time and skill in making these laundry bags both from myself and the other soldier recipients of your generosity.


Hi Gail,

Thank you very much for your wonderful laundry bag. I’m sorry it has taken me this long to send you an email, as you can imagine we are very busy at the moment and only just now we have managed to get a bit of down time. I’ve not been in the Navy long, just shy of two years, it was a big career change and sea change for myself.

I studied Civil Engineering at the University of Western Sydney In Kingswood and then practiced as an engineer for 5 years in the civilian world. I had always loved submarines growing up and I was at a point In my life where I just had to give it a go. To me life is about adventure and success for me is not about having the most money and possessions but about how many stories I can tell.

I am the first of my family in Australia to have joined the defence force. Some of my family members in Greece are in the Greek Navy, but like yourself, as you mentioned in your letter that’s my only connection to any military.

Your Laundry bag has come into great use already and I was very chuffed with the design. It’s my first laundry bag I’ve received so you can be assured it will be staying with me a long time.

Thank you for taking the time to make my laundry bag and all the others you have made, and for writing to me. I do appreciate it!

Yours Faithfully,

Dear Sandy & the Coffs Harbour Sewing Team,
    Thank you so very much for the thought, time and effort you put in to making my quilt.
    The end product was absolutely amazing & I am deeply appreciative of the gift.
    On behalf of the entire Task Group Taji, thank you all for your continued engagement, quilts and supportive words. The work you do is truly amazing & it certainly puts a smile on the faces of those receiving your quilts.
    Kind regards,

Dear Ruth,
First of all, thank you so much! The laundry bag is absolutely spectacular, better than I could have ever imagined.

I am due to return home soon, not long now, and look forward to some sunshine (-18°C was our coldest, and the weather is currently like Melbourne on Boxing Day at the cricket).

A little about me, this is my first operational deployment. I have deployed on international exercises, but never on operations. I have been incredibly fortunate to deploy with such a great team, and I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting people from Coalition nations.

I am originally from Melbourne, but now reside in Brisbane with my wife and two dogs.

As you have guessed I am a mad AFL fan – Lions and Bombers forever! I have a soft spot for Port Adelaide because we trained at their Alberton Oval facility when representing the ADF AFL Team – I like the strong community culture (and Paddy Ryder).

I operate in a medical facility of comparable size to a large country hospital treating patients from NATO and Coalition nations. It a very rewarding, exciting and special job! The great aspect of providing dental treatment is being to help people who, in some cases, have never seen a dentist. Trying to explain why they have holes in their teeth when they cannot speak English is an entirely different matter! I have had to learn basic Turkish, Azerbaijani, and Romanian. Also, there are some interesting cases that I would never see back in Australia as a result of our comparatively better dental hygiene.

When Jan-Maree said that she would have laundry bags and quilts organised for our team, I never anticipated them to be so incredible. As you can imagine, we all miss home, we miss Australia and we miss our families and friends immensely. However, receiving such gifts provides a timely morale boost, and reinforces our belief that our time in Afghanistan will have a positive impact.

I thank you for thinking of us while we are deployed, this has definitely brightened my day!



Thank you very much for making my quilt and laundry bag, I love it. I am currently deployed as a mentor within the Afghanistan National Army Officer Academy. We mentor the staff in which train the cadets to become officers. 

I am married and we have two adult children. My son is in the Army along with his wife. Our daughter is in the RAAF and also married. 

Again thank you very much, along with your husband for supporting you in supporting our deployed forces.



I have shared this photo and Facebook already but here it is for the non-facebook community.  Rifle Company Butterworth 126, our current guys and girls in Malaysia, received their bags last week and I am told that they were delighted with them.

Hi Cath,
Today, (just over a year after it’s creation it would seem) one of your laundry bags has reached one very touched Private in Malaysia.
I would just like to say thank you for such a thoughtful hand-made gift sent halfway across the world to a total stranger. It’s a truly warming sentiment as well as a fantastic gift.
I enjoyed reading your stories from home, as they brought to mind my own pets, and my mother, who is also a high school teacher. 

As well as the stories of your son. His achievements are something we all aspire to and his legacy one we hope to earn as we continue it.
Again, thank you very much for such a kind gift.


Good Morning Jan-Maree,

I am the Physical Training Instructor on board HMAS Ballarat.
I would like to thank both yourself and my quilter for the effort and time that it takes to make the quilt (Jenny D) and laundry bag (and Rita C).  It is very much well received and I am over the moon with the designs. Its actually really awesome to receive a small parcel that has so much thought and effort put into it, definitely helps the rough days on deployment.

Just a little bit of a background of myself so you know who you sent it to. I have been a PTI in the Navy for almost 5 years in November and I have served for over 9 years coming up to 10 in March. I have a huge passion for fitness wellbeing and sports particulary snowboarding and AFL (Hawthorn all the way). I would like to extend my gratitude to my quilter and if you are able to pass this message on please do. 

Jan-Maree once again thank you for my personalised quilt and laundry bag, it will be with me for a very long time!

Dear Lesley,

I received the laundry bag you made whilst deployed and was so happy I didn’t have to use a pillow case anymore. We are so grateful for everything you do. As your son can attest to, receiving these laundry bags and quilts from home brings new morale and makes us feel appreciated for our service. I have been using mine ever since. 

Thank you and I hope you can forgive me for the very late reply. 

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

Jan-Maree xx

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