Grati-Tuesday 7 April

Written by AHQ

7 April 2015

Firstly, thank you for the positive feedback re the posts I have been writing about Medals. I must confess that I never knew much about the medals as the only ones that we saw much of when I was service were the Parramatta Pinnie – or the Defence Force Service Medal and some of the Vietnam era medals.  Of course we sometimes saw WWI and WWII medals but I never knew what any of them stood for.  With the Centenary coming up I felt it would be a good thing if the general public knew more about the medals and this is me doing my “bit” for that cause.  If you are out and about on ANZAC Day, or any day for that matter, and see someone wearing medals, first go up and quietly thank them for their service – you will be surprised how much it will mean to them – and secondly ask them about their medals.  Most people will be happy to tell you what they did to earn them.

I had a lovely surprise in the mail today.  I had applied for my Australian Service Medal but had not expected it to come before ANZAC Day. Well today it turned up in the mail. 
I had the choice of waiting for it to be presented at a function somewhere or getting it in the mail. I opted for the latter in the vain hope that it would come in time for ANZAC Day.  I was still stunned that it got here so quickly!  Thanks so much to the people at the Directorate of Honours and Awards.  You must all be working very hard to fill all the requests before ANZAC Day.  BZ to you all.
I thought you might like to see how the medals come.

Inside the case are several things.   The two cards are to explain the origins and meaning of the medal and the cleaning and care of the medal.  You also receive some extra ribbon.

You will receive the full size medal, a miniature and a bar.  Service people in their uniforms will wear the bar every day.  For Ceremonial Events such as ANZAC Day they wear the full size medal.  For formal events like dinners and balls they wear their miniatures. 

Once you get more than one medal you need to get them mounted… which means they are placed together and made more rigid.  A lot of service personnel have replicas made and keep their original medals somewhere secure. That is what I have chosen to do and have been able to arrange for replicas to be delivered ready to wear in time for ANZAC Day.    I will be a little bit chuffed to wear both medals for the first time on the 100th ANZAC Day.
and now for some thank you messages…..  Enjoy!

Dear Deborah

Yesterday I received your wonderful quilt. It is absolutely beautiful and as you may have guessed, I will send it home to my kids so we can curl up under it when I get home. The design request was very much inspired by what my girls are doing right now; they are both learning instruments and having this quilt will be very special for them and me.

Thank you for including some personal thoughts on your family history and the work our Service volunteers do to protect our freedoms. When away from home and loved ones it is incredibly touching to be the recipient of support from folks, like yourself, that we have never met. I can assure you that your efforts are very important to us and your quilts are received with immense gratitude. Every ounce of support and contact from home is a ray of light in long busy days, which for many, include placing oneself in harms way. You truly make a difference so please accept my heartfelt thanks.

The Australian Service women and men in the Middle East are doing outstanding work which is providing hope for many people in Iraq and the region who have been subject to brutal oppression. I can assure you we are making a difference and every day we protect those who cannot protect themselves. I’m honoured to be serving our nation through our work and I’m honoured to be supported by you and your family. Thanks again and please continue to support our people as they serve overseas.

Kind regards


Evelyn, I am absolutely thrilled with the quilt!! It is exactly as I had hoped it would be and it certainly will take pride of place among my mementos of service.  Many thanks to you and other members of Aussie Hero Quilts who provide this wonderful service to the men and women of the ADF

Evening Lyn K

I would like to thank you so much for the beautiful quilt you had made for me. I do apologise for not replying to your letter much sooner.

That quilt was too nice to use so I have kept it folded up ready to give to my daughter who will appreciate it more so.

Thank you once again for the kind letter and continued support of us being over here. 

Have a good Easter 


Hi Joan & Robin

I am in the Australian Army and currently deployed in the Middle Eastern Region.

Today I received my lovely laundry bag from you! It made my day receiving a package and then when it had the bag inside I was over the moon.  I love the bright pinks and purples and the owls on the fabric.

I wanted to thank you and let you know how much the effort you went to is appreciated.  A few of the boys received laundry bags or quilts from you also and I can say they were just as happy as us girls !!Ha ha

So a very big thanks to you both.
Best wishes for the rest of the year! 🙂

Dear Billy

Thank you, Thank you so very much for the absolutely beautiful quilt. It is better than I could ever imagine. I don’t feel worthy of it. It is very girly and I love it. It helps brighten up my room and I always find myself staring at it.

It is such a wonderful thing that you do. There isn’t much thanks in this job and to receive something like this just means so much more.

So thank you very much for the beautiful quilt. It is something I will forever treasure and a great keepsake from my deployment.
Thank you

Dear Linda
I have just received the most beautiful laundry bag from you and words can’t explain how much joy it brought and my gratitude for your efforts.  Thank you for bringing morale into our lives.
I’m currently deployed at the moment working with the US Air Force.  It has been a wonderful challenge for me.  I also just celebrated my 22nd birthday.  Mt team made it a very special day for me which is lovely.  It gets hard here sometimes and its easy to feel defeated but other times you can feel accomplished when you overcome a massive challenge.
The war memorial is amazing.  As well as Australia and its Citizens!  It is something to go to war for!  I love this great country!
Once again thank you so much for all your effort.



Dear Linda
Thank you for the laundry bag you made me.  It was a big surprise.  I really appreciate it.  I hope you realise how much morale it brings people over here.  You aren’t real cool unless you have a Aussie Hero bag.
Thank you

Hi Linda
Thank you so much for my gorgeous laundry bag.  It is a bright spot in the dull landscape of the middle East.  The lollies were appreciated by all.  Thanks so much for your effort!

Dear Joan,

I am the grateful recipient of the Aussie Hero laundry bag you sewed. The colours and pictures are fantastic and there is no confusion between who owns which laundry bag now!
Anyway Joan I just wanted to send you a little thank you and let you know that the efforts of all the Aussie Hero Sewers are gratefully appreciated by all the serving men and women who receive a quilt and or laundry bag. I look forward to showing my family the bag when I return home soon.

Kind regards 

Thank you very much for my laundry bag it is awesome! And yes the kittens did give me a bit of a giggle and I’ve had a few questions about them in the laundry room. Nothing but jealousy I assure you.  Just wanted to write a quick note to say that your work in supporting the Aussie troops over here is much appreciated.

They (bags and quilts) are an endless source of morale and comfort.

Hello Jan-Maree,
I’m writing to let you know I received the quilt last night from Debbie and I must say it is the most amazing thing that I have ever had made for me. I was speechless at the time I opened the parcel and I along with other Defence members in my area were so impressed with the personal thought and workmanship that Debbie put into the quilt, I will definitely treasure this keepsake for the rest of my life.

Debbie also wrote me a letter which I really appreciated. I have started writing a response in my down time and intend on sending it in the next week or so along with a shot of me holding the quilt/laundry bag . 

I have been in country for nine weeks and still have four months to go and I know that this small token of colour will change my day each time I return to my tent.

Thank you for your generosity in organising this and if you talk to Debbie before I get the letter to her let her know she has really made a difference to my life here.
Yours Sincerely,

Hi Julie-Ann,
I would like to thank you for the awesome Starwars/Startrek laundry bag you made me. Words will never be enough to express how much I will cherish this for the rest of my life. 

I arrived here early January and believe I get back to Australia late July. I’m looking forward to running barefoot on nice green grass, and going for a swim.

I thank you once again. I wish you and your husband, daughter, and Grandson a lovely and safe Easter. 

Hi Rita M,

I write you to absolutely thrilled with the beautiful and artistic quilt that will become a family heirloom as I hand it down to one of my children when the right time arrives. The Navy Crest represents something special to my wife and I, having spent a considerable part of our lives dedicated to life in the RAN. Your depiction of the crest is nothing short of exceptional. The bigger picture is that SUCCESS will be my last ship that I serve in so that part of the quilt also means much to me.

I certainly agree with you that there is no place like home (I recall that statement in a movie from years ago) and it is through your efforts and those of others that dedicate their valuable time that we are reminded here that there are people supporting our efforts as we try to make this world a better place.
We have been working hard to build upon Australia’s, the Australian Defence Force’s and the Ship’s reputation up here and I believe we are doing a good job of it. You are right to state that six months away is a long time and it is no wonder that I see massive smiles on the faces of crew members lucky enough to receive quilts such as yours as they connect the crew members with home. I cannot express enough my personal gratitude for the efforts of you and your team at the AHQ/LB.

While this email may appear short compared to the effort that you have expended crafting the quilt, it is my way of saying thank you. We have poor connectivity in relation to the internet on board and I will need to wait until I can tap into the internet ashore before I can forward you a picture of the quilt on my bed in my cabin. Stand by and I will send you a picture as soon as I can.

With Kindest Regards and much gratitude, 

Dear Jan-Maree & Rachel,

Thankyou so much for organising my quilt and laundry bag 🙂

I received them a few months back and I use them all the time. I am just about to head home after nearly seven months and will continue to use them I am sure.

I am very grateful to you and your team. For your time, effort and kind words.

My deployment has gone by very quickly as we have been quiet busy as I’m sure you could imagine. I did get a few weeks off which was wonderful.  I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to a little place called Mesen and visit my Great Great Uncle’s Grave at The Messines Ridge British War Cemetery. He was a Infantry Soldier in WW1 who also served in Gallipoli. It was a great honour to finally pay my respects for his sacrifice.      
My good friend here XXXX absolutely loves his quilt and laundry bag. He has received many comments about his pineapple quilt 🙂

Anyway, thanks very much for all your efforts, I will treasure the quilt and laundry bag always.

Hello Lynn,

I have just received my Aussie Hero quilt 

I just wanted to say a really big thank you to you….such a very special person that you are. The deployment that I am on up here is quite difficult at times, to receive a gift like this which isn’t just something that has been purchased from a shop but something which you have obviously put yourself into is just fantastic!!!!

I believe that what we are doing is and will make a difference to the local people….your gift has made my commitment to this just that little bit easier and pleasurable.

Thank you so much Lynn 

Lisa N

Hello from Dubai!  Thank you so much for my quilt, I absolutely love it. It arrived still smelling beautifully of laundry powder, was so homely. 🙂
Thank you for my other treats too
Thanks again, its such a lovely thing that you generous ladies do, it really did make everyone’s day when we received our quilts.
Have a great day

Dear Lyn K
Today I received your beautiful quilt and lovely card. I can’t even begin to thank you for taking the time to make such a special gift. I will treasure it always.  I have been away from home for two months and have another four to go. My husband also a serving officer in the Army and we have two energetic and beautiful children, XXXXX, who is seven next month and XXXXX, who is three and a half. I miss them a lot.
 What I miss the most is simple things like hugging the kids, walking the dogs, having brunch on a Saturday morning. I can’t wait to do these things again. I have met lots of new and lovely people and will have many firm friendships by the time I leave, but I really do miss our beautiful country!
It is lovely to know that there has been someone back home, making something with just me in mind, Thank you again. Best Wishes.


Dear Jackie
Just wanted to thank you so very very much for the beautifully wonderful quilt you made for me. It is truly a treasure that will stay with me for years. I deeply appreciate the effort you went through to make it. I was a bit sceptical the possibility of asking for Cerberus, but you certainly did deliver.
A bit of history as to the odd choice, our platoon is known as ‘Hindsons Hounds’, named after LT Hindson who took the initiative in Vietnam. We have adopted Cerberus as our image/mascot. It has made a lot of the other guys jealous with my choice to say the least. I have also put one of the printouts on my room door and another next to my desk. The magnet is attached proudly to our Headquarters fridge for all to see.
This is my first deployment and feel privileged to be representing Australia on the international stage. I just wish for you to know how much your gift and time is appreciated.
 Feel free to remain in contact if you desire.
With great thanks and sincere regards
PS I also love the laundry bag, it is to become my main staple over here and will be in use for many a year to come. Thanks again.

I don’t know about you but these messages never fail to make my day.

Till next time……………….happy stitching!
Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Pip

    I always enjoy reading all the thank you messages. It is definitely worth getting replica medals and be able to keep the original medals stored safely, I know of at least two people who lost their medals one ANZAC day (they were lucky that someone found them and returned them)


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