Messages from the Middle East Region…..

Written by AHQ

20 November 2018

These are rather special messages. They were sent over to be printed out and placed on the tables at our dinner but unfortunately they ended up in the Junk Mail File and we did not find out until after the dinner! Doh!!!

Not to worry… we can still enjoy them now…

“I received a quilt and laundry bag last just a couple of weeks ago, better still is that it was a complete surprise – secretly organised by some special members of the Aussie Hero Quilts ‘underground’. Both items are beautifully crafted with hidden symbology and perfect personal touches; a truly meaningful gesture. To my dear friends “Wombat” and “Eagle” (you know who you are) – thank you from “Kaa“.
I would like to start with a massive thank you for my quilt, its amazing. I had been away for 2 weeks on my leave and have now been back just over a week, it was an instant morale lifter after having post leave blues due to returning back to Iraq.
I have sent pictures of my quilt back to all the family, the mother-in-law is a keen sewer and has said what a great cause and idea Aussie Heroes is, and I have to agree. Seeing people’s faces when the Laundry Bags and Quilts arrive is like gold dust, it’s even better when you see the reaction of the Iraq laundry service personnel with big rufty tufty soldiers with multi coloured and floral laundry bags.
Once again thank you for my quilt, I love it and it will keep me smiling until the end of my tour (Xmas time).
PS the chocolates and shapes went down a treat I don’t think they touched the sides.
“…I particularly like the fabric pattern as it represents the nature, flora and fauna of Australia, a timely reminder of ‘home’, as you have highlighted in your letter with regards to your personal experiences of travelling around the country and seeing the vast variety of wildlife that Australia has to offer…”
“Yet to receive mine (it’s being sent home), but from the ones I’ve seen they do a stellar job. The time and effort Jan-Maree and her team put into making these items I know is very much respected by those in the MER. It’s a nice personal touch from home which I think most people appreciate.”
I would like to say thank you to each and every one of you involved in this great organisation called Aussie Hero Quilts (and laundry bags). It is always an exciting day when the boxes arrive containing quilts (and usually some other treats). It is with anticipation that the box is opened by the recipient with a crowd gathered to see the quilt. There is always lots of ‘oohs and ahhs’ as the recipient proudly shows off their quilt and a quick photo to show the family back home the lovely gift that they have received. I will say that the laundry bags draw the same amount of attention. You will never know the joy you bring to the deployed force with your gifts that are created with love. We don’t always appreciate the time, effort and planning detail required in making each of these magnificent works of art. Knowing someone willingly commits their spare time to achieve this makes them all the more special to each of us. I know personally, mine has not moved from my bed since it arrived and will remain a lasting legacy of my time in the Middle East long after I leave this place. We don’t say it often enough but THANKYOU!!
Jan-Maree and all the Quilters associated with Aussie Hero Quilts 
Congratulations to you all and thank you for your continuing support, it is people like you that keep the Aussie and ANZAC Spirit alive, each Quilt that is delivered to a member of the ADF tells a story of that member to remind them of home it brings a joy and happiness to each member when they maybe feeling a little bit home sick.
The workmanship that goes into each quilt and the extra little gifts that are placed with each Quilt just reminds you that someone at home does care…side note Jan, not everyone has the honour to receive and eat your home made ANZACs lucky for me I got that opportunity not so long ago…
Have a wonderful dinner tonight thanks for everything and keep up the terrific work.
As the Personnel Capability Officer for the Air Task Group, I contacted Jan Maree to request bulk loads of laundry bags to be sent to the Air Task Group members here in the UAE. These have been handed out to the new aircrew and maintenance personnel who have arrived into the dusty, hot conditions here and have been greatly appreciated. I’ve heard comments such as “This one has dogs on it”, “These Aussie ones are cool” and have seen them brightening up the laundry as they sit on the washing machines waiting to be used to transfer clothes back to the tent. The conditions here mean that people walking across dirt and rocks to get to the laundry, which isn’t always close to the living quarters and your well-made, cheery bags make that so much easier. The little things do really count here and, on behalf of the ATG, I would like to send my sincerest and warmest thanks to you for the quilts and laundry bags you have carefully made; we appreciate them and we appreciate you.”
Thank you for your thoughts, efforts and time spent in making something personal for each member deployed. I personally, loved receiving my laundry bag and quilt and it is something I tell others about with pride. The efforts you and your team go to, to make us feel appreciated and special in serving our country is truly awesome. It makes a difference knowing that others outside our circle of family and friends care about our service and time away from our home. It is a great experience and opportunity to deploy, albeit it has consequences for our families and your thoughtfulness and dedication to makes us feel valued are not only appreciated by those serving but also by our loved ones back home.”
“Thanks to the team at Aussie Heroes, I’m blown away by the quality and creativity displayed in my new quilt. You guys really do a great job, and I can’t really describe how much your efforts are appreciated over at this end. Keep up the good work, and thanks again.”
“A very big thanks to Jan-Maree and the fabulous Aussie Heroes team! I’m so attached to the quilt and laundry bag I received on a previous deployment that I’ve brought them over for another stint away from home and loved ones. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the time, thought and effort put into every quilt and laundry bag is truly appreciated by those fortunate enough to receive one of these treasures.”

Message for Mrs Sue N – Mill Park, Victoria
I am currently deployed to the Middle East and after many years in the Army and a number of deployments, this is the first I’ve become aware of Aussie Hero quilts. Having now seen first-hand the positive effects of this wonderful endeavour, compels me to pass on how fantastic and appreciated your efforts are, and those of the whole Aussie Hero Quilt team.
I was privileged to be the recipient of your beautiful art deco inspired quilt.  There was so much delight in just receiving the package from Aussie Hero Quilts. But the joy in actually unfolding the quilt that first time, and finding myself holding my breath as the full design was revealed, was quite overwhelming. When considering that this work of art was made especially for me – is truly humbling.
Thank you so much. The time, effort and thought that went into my lovely quilt is evident, and I am sincerely grateful.
I have friends that are part of a social sewing group back home (I imagine it’s one of many groups affectionately named ‘Stitch and Bi#ch’) – where some of the ladies quilt, some knit, some just go to drink the wine and pretend to do mending.  I am looking forward to letting them know about your work and perhaps trying my hand at a simpler quilt design.
Thank you again, your thoughtfulness and efforts are much appreciated.
A big thank you to Beverly Uys, Joan McKenzie, and Bridget Robertson who all teamed up to make an Aussie Hero Quilt for me. Receiving this quilt from these wonderful volunteers in Australia meant so much to me and the quilt will take pride of place in my home in Australia upon my return. Thank you for thinking of us.
I absolutely love my quilt which was made by the wonderfully talented Ann S of Young NSW.  It’s like Ann read my mind as to the colours and design of the quilt, as it was more amazing than I ever could have imagined.  Looking at all the Aussie Hero Quilts which have come into theatre since my arrival, I am in constant awe of the Aussie Hero Quilt team and what you do to make the difficult time we spend away from our families and friends just that little bit brighter.  Knowing that there are some wonderful Australians who volunteer their time, skills and funds to make something special and unique to each and every one of us is very humbling and makes me very proud to be a serving member of the ADF.  When I finish my deployment and go home at the end of November, my quilt will become the blanket that my five year old daughter and I will snuggle under to watch all of our favourite movies together.  Thank you to everyone at Aussie Hero Quilts for the tireless work you do.  We appreciate you!
With best wishes,
Message for Anne D
I can’t thank you enough for the beautiful quilt. It helped to not only brighten my room, but offers the comforts of home. The quilt is exactly what I hoped for and the patch with both of our details is really special. When I return to Australia after 7 months abroad, I can see myself snuggled up on the lounge with it and cherish it as a reminder of the time I spent, and friends I made, in the Middle East. The work you and the other quilters do is fantastic and I am very grateful for your generosity, as are my peers that have also been lucky enough to receive one.  I hope you have a fantastic dinner.
Thanks again. 
On behalf of Task Element 630.1.5 at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, thank you very much for the wonderful reading quilt, which is hanging proudly on the Australian HQ wall, centre stage, for all to see. It really brightens up the work area and coalition members from all over the Combined Air Operations Centre come by to admire it. The quilt will no doubt bring a smile to the faces of many Australians who will sit quietly, looking at the exquisite detail and the story it tells. Your efforts mean so much, to so many, who are on deployment far from home. 

Thank you so much for the laundry bag. It has been extremely useful and I have used it at least twice per week. Its extremely hardy and I have pushed it to its limits. It never fails to get a smile from our coalition partners.
I really appreciate the laundry bag I received. It is unique and personal and turns something as bland and boring as doing laundry into a fun experience.

I really appreciate the laundry bag you ladies made for me. It’s great that you can complete an order that makes it so personal. The bag you made for me stands out among the other laundry bags and it’s so easy to identify. When I get home our family will use it for camping, as the kids will love it.  
Thanks for the quilt and laundry bag, very personal and you hit the theme perfectly. It brightens up my somewhat dull room. The quality is outstanding and I will be able to keep this for a long time. They will get great use as I plan to pack it every time.
Thanks for the quilt, it’s very well made and goes well with the laundry bag I received during my last deployment. You provide a great service to our deployed men and women and it’s a great thought knowing your supporting us.
Thank you very much for the laundry bag. Its bright and personal and I have a number of the US soldiers asking how I got it. When I tell them about Aussie Hero Quilts, they remark that we are lucky to have people like you supporting us. I have to agree, as I do see a few of your bags and quilts around the TG. Great job.

 Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone….

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

Jan-Maree xx

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