Take a break from the frantic preparations for Christmas and enjoy some of the messages that have come back to us over the weekend.  


First a couple of “pleases”

Hi Aussie Hero Quilts!
 My name is XXXXX and I am a private in 7RAR out of Adelaide. I am in the Mortar section here in Afghanistan. A fellow member of the section recently received one of your quilts and he tells the rest of us about it everyday! It looks very warm and I would love one if it is not too much trouble. Not only will it be very warm and comfortable for the approaching winter (the snow is getting closer everyday) I believe that it would be a wonderful souvenir for the years after my deployment.
Just from being here I can see that your quilts are very popular and the laundry is always full of your bags, so if you are a bit overloaded with requests at the moment then please don’t worry about it!
Thanks very much!
My name is XXX currently serving in Afghanistan.  A couple of our fellow soldiers have been receiving the most amazing quilts and bags from you and we are all a bit jealous of them.  We would all like to say that if it wasn’t for loving people like you guys at home it would make the time over here so much slower than what it already is.  Getting the mail is the one thing that most guys in my platoon look forward to most and every time one of the soldiers receives a quilt it brightens their whole day and the next week or so.  What I’m trying to ask is if at all possible I would love to receive one of these quilts and laundry bags and I think I speak for a couple of the other boys in my section as well.  it would be a great privilege to receive and pass on the great work you do for all serving members.  Thank you all so much for the work that you all do for us and I can’t wait to hear from you.

And now for several Thank you messages.

For Rita M

I received my beautiful quilt today thank you so much for it has made my day! 

Its because of amazing women like yourself that my boys over here and I love doing our job!!

stay safe and have a merry xmas,

Thank you very much for making me this Laundry Bag you have created.  It
will be very useful for me here during my time here on my deployment.
It’s good to hear that you have a passion for something you love doing.
Keep up this great work, & hope you have a great Christmas & New Year.

Thanks for a quilt from Nancy

I received my quilt and laundry bag yesterday.  Thank you so much for taking the time and effort for me.  It has lifted my morale and my room is no longer boring.  It means a lot to Defence personnel knowing people are thinking of us and give up their own time to make us feel so loved.  Have a wonderful day and please pass on my many thanks for the beautiful quilt I received.   
Have a Merry Christmas. 


My name is XXXX. I am currently deployed overseas. I have just received a quilt from Peggy of  QLD and I wanted to let her know that I have received the beautiful quilt and thank her for all that she has done.

For Wendy H.

  Dear Wendy, 

I’m writing to you this afternoon as I’ve just had the most wonderful surprise in the mail! The box of laundry bags, lollies, socks and other items was not at all expected but very welcome indeed. I have been in touch with Jan-Maree for a few weeks now but I really didn’t expect anything on quite this scale. Your laundry bags are fantastic and will be of great use. I’ve given three out to colleagues who work alongside me here in Task Group HQ and I’ve also forwarded your details, to allow them to drop you a line.  I’m afraid I couldn’t give the last one away but have kept it for myself!  Our laundry here is probably one of the busiest places in Tarin Kot and the local Afghan who works in it seems to be flat out 6 days a week, keeping up with demand.  Your bags will help brighten up his life as well as ours.  I’ve taken a couple of photos a day or two ago which I haven’t yet sent to Jan-Maree but will do so this evening.  For many serving here at the moment, the bags and quilts will be a lasting reminder of their time in Afghanistan – and I would expect that many will travel to different parts of the world on future deployments.  The news about Aussie Hero Quilts is obviously spreading among the troops here, as I have noticed an increasing number of your laundry bags being carried around the place. I will also make sure that all the edible treats are shared among everyone who works here – although I may hang on to a couple of the coffee sachets! 

Your kind gifts have arrived at just the right time. The weather here is rapidly getting colder and overnight there was some significant snowfall on many of the mountains that surround us. In fact, I saw a weather forecast just an hour or two ago that suggested the temperature on Christmas Day will not rise above 3 degrees and could drop to as low as -10. One of the problems I am wrestling with at the moment is to find a suitable venue where we can have our Christmas beer ration, without being frozen in the process. 
I have been in the Australian Army for over seven years now, having served in the British Army beforehand. One of the really tremendous things I have always noticed about being an Australian soldier is the support provided by the Australian public. Whether it is local people who line The Strand in Townsville for a welcome home parade or people such as you who make such an effort at a busy time of year, your support is wonderful and very much appreciated. I see from your letter that members of your family have also served, so you have a good idea of what it is like to be away from home over Christmas. Support from folk such as you make the separation an awful lot easier. 
Thanks again and I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and a peaceful 2013. 
With very best wishes, 

What you ladies do is very much appreciated over here. Quilts keep us warm and make us think of home when we climb into bed at night (or morning, depending on our shifts). Have a great Christmas and wonderful new year. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing as it is truly appreciated by all.

Hi Jan-Maree, 
Hopefully you’ve seen the email I’ve just sent to Wendy, thanking her for the quilts and goodies I’ve just received. Thank you also for your letter and your part in forwarding all the items. 
As I mentioned in my email to Wendy, news is certainly spreading about AHQ. I don’t think it will be too long before your laundry bags outnumber the plain mesh one with which we are issued. 
We really consider ourselves very fortunate to have people such as you supporting us at home. I have another family friend who recently was involved in packaging up 3,500 care parcels; one for every soldier serving overseas. From my desk, I watch people passing with the big blue bags of mail as they arrive from the base post office and then carried out to the sub-units. There is always a noticeable lift in mood as the mail arrives and your packages just add to that. 
Please pass on our thanks to all who are involved in Aussie Hero Quilts – you are all doing a great job! 
Kind regards, 

Gidday Jan -Maree, 
        I received my quilt and laundry bag yesterday afternoon which was a surprise of how quickly they got here, could you please pass onto Carolynne D my thanks and gratitude for such an authentic Aussie theme. She must have spent a great deal of time and care in the development of both items which I’m very thankful for. I’m also enjoying the chocolates and very much appreciate the Aussie Christmas Songs CD which I enjoy listening to this time of year when I get a spare 5 minutes. 
        Again thank you all for your support and thoughts as it does make a difference over here. Wishing you all a Very Happy and Safe Christmas / New Year. 

Hi Jan-maree,
Just letting you know one of the boxes with laundry bags have arrived and Everyone says thank you very much for them.
We got some good laughs out of the green and pink tartan bag. It would have only been a week ago one of the girls here had made up a little poem on my white board at work joking about me wearing green and pink tartan (there’s not too many words that come to mind when trying to rhyme with my name). Naturally she asked for the green and tartan bag.
Thank you or the little chocolate treats as well. One of the guys had been talking about missing crunchies so he got that one and a couple of us split the cherry ripe. it was delicious. Thank you.
The mail system has been a little slow lately/ had some problems with weather along the way so hopefully the other will turn up in the next day or two.
It’s already very cold at night, it’s reasonable during the day, but it’s getting colder.
we are meant to have snow down here in the next couple days…. i kind of hope we don’t  it’s been raining, which is usually what happens just before the snow starts up.
No no special request, you are doing enough for us with the LB and quits.

Dear Jan-Maree, 

I have received in the mail today a beautiful quilt based on “Australiana” from Kaye in Werribee. The colours and scenes remind me of home and the detail on the quilt is lovely. The quilt has added some unique colour to my room and brings a tear to my eye when I think of home. The extra warmth from the quilt is needed as we are actually having cooler nights here at the moment and it rained quite heavily today which was unexpected. 

I would like to thank you and your quilters (I am sure there are some men out there quilting away as well) for all the time and effort that is being put into providing these quilts for us so far away from home, we really do appreciate all that is being done. 

Many thanks, 

I have received the quilt and have just now receive the Laundry Bag also. 

Thank you very much for these; they are fantastic. They will both come in very handy and are really appreciated. 

I have passed on your details to my troops.

Hi Jan-Maree,
 Just wanted to let you know that XXXXX has received his quilt and he loves it!!
I have attached a photo that James sent me and could you please pass on the following message to Anne H.
Anne,  thank you so much for all the time and effort you have put into this beautiful quilt!!  James loves it and appreciates all you’ve done to make it for him, also he said it was very warm and with weather in single digits over there that is real plus!!  We both wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!!

Don’t know about you but it all just makes me want to sew more!

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