Sunday Sharing

Written by AHQ

7 July 2013

Hi All,
Another lovely sunny day here in Sydney.  
Another good quilting day but then isn’t every day!

Dear Sue,
G’day from Afghanistan and thank you very much for the laundry bag. It has pride of place in my sleeping area and is extremely useful – a nice piece of brightness and colour that reminds us of home.
I am currently serving in Afghanistan with the 205th Coalition Advisory Team which supports the ISAF mission and provides support to the Afghan National Army (ANA). 
I would like to say on behalf of all of us, a very warm thank you very much for the package you have sent. I and my fellow service men and women, really appreciate that you and your family have taken the time to organize and send packages to the troops. It is really humbling to know that we have the support of people like you, who do care and understand that we are also Australians that have our own families that we miss and want to be home with. We do however; have a very strong belief in that we need to protect our nation, whilst rebuilding another, to ensure that we can all live within our way of life.
My time here so far has been filled with excitement and pride. I work with a great bunch of people that work very hard to fulfill our mission and we all want to get the job done right, so that we can all come home, knowing that we have achieved a positive outcome that has helped the people of Afghanistan.
I spend a great deal of time working with my Afghan counterparts and I must say they are a proud bunch of blokes that are doing a hard job. They have accepted me as a fellow soldier and as an “andewah” (friend) as they know we are over here helping them with their fight against the Taliban, for which they are extremely grateful. The Afghans are similar to us, in the sense that they too want to live in a peaceful country that allows their children to be educated, grow up without fear of reprisals and make their country a better place. They really do yearn for peace and stability again and the picture you see in the media is not the picture that we live with everyday over here.
Serving here is a humbling experience as the majority of the people live in poverty and they do not have the type of life that we Aussies enjoy on a daily basis. I do feel for them and I hope they can enjoy a better life in the near future. I would like to think we can play a small part in making this happen.
I would like to express my gratitude to both you and your family, and hope that you all stay safe. Please pass on my thanks to them all and have a drink or two for me. I have to apologize that it has taken so long to reply, but I have just received your laundry bag.
Once again, thank you so much for thinking of us here in the heat of Afghanistan- it means a lot and makes a real difference.
Aye yours,

Good morning Sue 

I had to write and let you know just how much I appreciated your kind gift of a laundry bag. 
  I don’t know if you remember it but it was of tweety bird and it is so bright and happy that I had to have that one no matter what. 
I have spoken to a lot of Defence members here and I logged onto the Aussie Hero Quilts website and read all about the history. I also checked out all the photos. My goodness these quilts and laundry bags have brought a lot of joy to so many serving soldiers. 
I appreciated that you put something in about yourself and wanted to do the same. I do apologize if I bore you as I am sure you receive so many of these types of emails but I just couldn’t ignore your kind gesture of the laundry bag. 
I served for six months in Sinai in 2009 and was pleased to see your quilts and laundry bags in some of the photos on the website, however, this is the first time I have deployed to Afghanistan and are part of the last rotation. I am attempting to get out and meet and do as much as I can whilst here. I find the local people to be very friendly especially when you make the time to interact with them. Their culture and life is so different from ours but on all of the limited occasions that I have been in contact with the locals they have treated me with respect and friendship. I had been told not to be offended if they ignored me because I was female but it was quite the opposite. Even the very high ranking officers were happy to have their photo taken with me – this is extremely rare I can tell you. 
The base over here is as comfortable as they can make it, though services are closing down and things will get very austere in the next couple of months. The food is excellent and so hopefully when the fresh food stops I may loose some weight…lol. I share a very small room with two other ladies and we all get along very well. One of the ladies is a friend of mine that I have known for approx eight years. The good thing about the Army is that it is a very small family and when I first got over here, nearly every day for about a two weeks I would run into someone I hadn’t seen for years. 
Well as I said earlier I hope I haven’t bored you too much but once again I want to thank you for all you do for us and sincerely want you to know that it is very much appreciated. 
I must admit I would love to be one of the proud owners of a hero quilt as this would definitely hold pride of place both on my bed here in Afghanistan and in my home. I do understand that you probably get inundated with requests for these quilts as they are not only gorgeous but so much time and effort goes into them and understand if you cannot accommodate me. 
In closing I must say YOU DO EXCELLENT WORK!!! 
  Please take care, I wish you and your family all the very best now and always.

Dear Mrs N,  (Sue N)
I am in the Australian Army, currently in Afghanistan as part of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Force. I was in Kandahar recently and saw a sign in a common area pointing to laundry bags. I grabbed the last two laundry bags in the pile, kept one for myself and gave the other to one of the Captains who works for me.

When I arrived in Tarin Kot several weeks ago, I brought a laundry bag with me, but quickly realised it was too small. With the temperatures we are experiencing at the moment (generally low to high 40s) nothing lasts more than a day, so it is great to now have a laundry bag that is big enough to hold a full load of washing.

Thank you for the laundry bag, and thank you for your thoughts and well wishes. We all appreciate the support.
Kind regards,


Please accept my grateful thanks for the very helpful and well constructed laundry bag that I have used for the past few months here in Afghanistan. I have been trying to get a person, address and/or organisation responsible for these fantastic gifts. Finally yesterday I got your email address, by good luck and not good management. So please accecpt my very loud exclamation of – Thanks. Gifts like these and the hero quilts that organisations make are a reminder to us just why we are here in places like Afghanistan because it for people like yourself that it all worth while. I haven’t seen a hero quilt yet if its construction is as good as the laundry bag – then it would be a cracker.

So in conclusion – thanks once again and be safe in the knowledge that your bag is putting up with everything that the Afghan laundry system can put it through.

Good afternoon Sue.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the lovely Tweety Bird laundry bag. I is coming in very handy!
I understand that you also make quilts. Would it be possible to have a quilt made for me with owl patterned fabric, if you have any or in orange and black colouring?
I, as well as many other soldier’s, sailor’s and airmen/women appreciate your hard work and loving heart.
Thank you very much! 

Dear Sue,
I am a Captain in the Australian Army currently deployed in Afghanistan.  I am writing to you to say thank you for the lovely gift of laundry bags we received.  They were well made and well received by the lads, who scrambled to get one when I presented them.  It is very reassuring and much appreciated to receive support such as this from home and to know we are being thought of.  

Again thank you for taking the time to think of us.  

PS please find enclosed these postcards which were the best we could do in terms of photos of the area.

Hi Jan,

I received my quilt the other day (made by Stephanie T and sent off by me) and wanted to let you know that it was FANTASMAGORICAL!!!

Am really excited about it and it looks awesome. Thank you for taking the time to put it together for me.


Chelle and Jan-Maree, 

What a nice surprise to receive a beautiful hand-made quilt from you. I didn’t know my boss had requested one on my behalf, so when I saw the parcel with my name on it waiting, it made my day! My room is fairly plain and has had boys living in it for the past few years. I’m the first girl in the position for a while, and the only girl in my entire block, so I took great pleasure in putting it on my bed and making my room feel a bit more ‘homey’. 

You guys provide a wonderful service, and being my first deployment I didn’t even realise this kind of generosity from home existed. 

I will be sure to speak very highly of you both and recommend Aussie Hero Quilts to all my deployed friends in the future.

Thanks again. 

Hello Jan,

I absolutely love my fireman quilt, thankyou so much for making it. It’s amazing. I didn’t open it up infront of the other firies like we originally spoke about as my family wanted me to open it up on Skype so they could see it also. I sat on it for a week as we couldn’t all get on Skype at the same time till yesterday.

Kind regards and thankyou,

Note the laundry bag by Janine

Hi Donna

I’m writing to thank you for my Laundry Bag. I received it safe and sound in our last mail run about a week ago. It’s exactly what I was hoping for and I particularly like the initials on the back for a personal touch. I see from your card that you’re also a Rabbitoh’s fan. They’re having a great year… as a member (with a seat in row X) I’m a little disappointed to be missing it, but I watch as many games as I can out here and am definitely enjoying the winning streak. Let’s hope they take it all the way.
I hope this email finds you well, and thanks once again for your time and effort with the Laundry Bag.

Hi Jan-Maree
I would like to say thank you so much for the laundry bag. I have the one with all the print over it. Love it!
Every female in my room now has one, stands out for the other 300 laundry bags : )
Hi Lynda, Thank you so much for my quilt and laundry bag I haven’t lost as many socks since I’ve had it. The quilt I’ve put on my rack brings a bit more of a homey feel to a usually boring metal cold mess. 

Well I can’t say its as cold as Melbourne over here, we’re expecting it to peak at approx 55+ degrees so I’m not too overly excited for that!! 

Dear Jan-Maree
I am writing to express my gratitude for the wonderful Hero Quilt that arrived for me yesterday.  it was a wonderful surprise and very greatly appreciated.  I am lucky enough to be returning home in the near future but rest assured that this quilt will provide me with comfort for the remainder of my trip and I will cherish it on my return.  Please thank Lynn and Carol (who quilted it) for me.   Obviously I thank you as well and yes, great choice of colours and design.  I will deal with my “Army Wife” at a later date!  (that would be Chelle) I wouldn’t say  I am overly green, okay maybe just a little, but the Rising Sun was a nice touch.

Again, your thoughtful recognition is greatly appreciated and please express my thanks to overs involved.  It was great to hear a little bit about you and to know we are thought about back home makes the days go much quicker.  Keep up the fantastic job.

In case you are wondering about the gum trees in the background, the author of the above letter is now back home and sent me this photo via text message the other day.  I am assuming it was taken back in Australia but I could be wrong.

Cheers for today all.

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

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  1. Sue Niven

    What a fantastic read! Love the quilts too.

  2. Janine C

    That fireman's quilt looks wonderful on the bunk. So good to read all the messages. And, I think different types of gum trees grow all over the world these days.

  3. Joy Belle

    that post could almost have been entitled "Dear Sue" lol


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