Thanks on Thursdays

Written by AHQ

24 October 2013

Hi all.  

Just a quick announcement.  The next Penrith Sewing Day on will be on 3 November.  Please BYO lunch and sewing machine.  I will provide all materials. I think we might be having a laundry bag sewing marathon but I will confirm that closer to time.  Please can you let me know if you plan to come so that I can be prepared.

On Thank yous and Expectations.
 I have come to think of Aussie Heroes as a circle of appreciation.  We appreciate the service and sacrifice of our service people, but what is really lovely is that time and time again they show us how much they appreciate what we do and I have to say reading those thank you messages never gets old to me!

Having said that I thought it was timely to remind you that it is highly likely that we will not get as many thank you messages in the coming months as we have in the past.   

I don’t know the ins and outs of the logistics involved in closing down and handing over the base at Tarin Kot, but if you think about it, equipment is being removed on a daily basis and that means facilities are being reduced.  The postal service has already been reduced.  Shops which sold snacks and toiletries, the little necessities of life, have been closed or are not re-stocking.  

You have to imagine that the troops are doing more with less.  That, no doubt, also means that the number of computer terminals will eventually start to dwindle and so on.

As all the facilities that help to make like comfortable, and those which help to compensate for being so far from family, are slowly removed, then what we do becomes even more important. Our quilts and laundry bags, as a Commander once wrote, are a constant visible reminder of the support they have from back home.  They are comforting practical reminders that the Aussie public cares about them.

It is up to us to really mean it when we say “I don’t do it for the thanks” and keep going regardless of whether we hear back from our recipient or not.  When you read the thank you messages on the blog many times the same phrases of appreciation are repeated.  
To me that says that whether we hear from a recipient or not, they will be feeling much the same.

I can’t share all that happens behind the scenes with Aussie Heroes, as in some cases it is too sensitive, or possibly too premature, but suffice to say I am left in absolutely no doubt that the men and women on the ground and on the ships with Operation Slipper, plus those on Peacekeeping Missions in South Sudan and the Sinai love what we are doing and are very grateful and in coming months I hope that will become even more apparent.

Hope you enjoy these messages as much as I did!

Jennidee and Michael,

I was humbled today to receive the ANZAC Cove Quilt that you both painstakingly constructed for me. The quilt is a wonderful representation of the ANZAC Cove and sacrifice that soldiers make during long deployments away from their loved ones. I particularly liked the inclusion of the lone pine as well. I was once posted to the Soldier Career Management Agency (which was at the time based out of Fort Queenscliff in Victoria) and they actually have a pine tree that was grown out of an acorn from the those pine trees at the Nek at Gallipoli. It is located on the right hand side of the main entry to the Fort behind the guard house. 

The Aussie Hero Quilt initiative is a wonderful thing that I hope continues long after the Australian Defence Force departs Afghanistan. The Soldiers and Officers within my Unit in Afghanistan have been the beneficiary of many such quilts and laundry bags from this initiative. 
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for this gift. It is a beautiful quilt that both myself and my family will cherish forever as a reminder of my time in Afghanistan and the support that Australia give to deployed Defence personnel.

Pam is an airforce Mum who was instrumental in the starting of the Sewing Days at Penrith.  Some of her son’s mates will be deploying in the future and so Pam set about making them quilts and they were given to them in person on the weekend.  Here are two of them.  Love those smiles.


The following thank you is for a nautical quilt that was cut out by me, pieced by Dasha and Clare at a sewing day and quilted by Debbie in Queensland.  A real joint effort.

Hi Jan-Maree,

My quilt arrived today and it’s beautiful, I love it. Please pass my sincere thanks to Dash, Clare, and Debbie for this lovely quilt.

Thanks to yourself also for your part in this, and on behalf of all of us here thank you for what you are doing for us. To know that members of the public care this much for our welfare that they give up so much of their own personal time is heart warming. These quilts mean so much to us because over here we down’t have a lot to call our own, this personalizes our rooms and makes it a little bit like home.

Anyway, once again thanks for all you do for us, I will be sure to tell everyone at home what you guys are doing for us every chance I get.

Warm regards.

Hello Stephanie T,

I would like to say thank you so much for the quilt that I have received off you. It has really liven up my bed.
So I have been deployed now for 4 months, only 4 months to go and I will be home.
Once again thank you so much.

This fellow requested several quilts for himself and his mates and he sent me a facebook message to let me know that they have all been received.

We have all now received our AMAZING quilts and could not be happier. I would once again just like to thank you and all the other quilters that you have.  You all do such an amazing job and it really does make a big difference to us over here.  So, once again thank you and God Bless.

I have located some parcels that were put aside for me last month which you sent back in August and I am writing to let you know that they have arrived and are available to members.
I pick out a favourite laundry bag that I hang on the wall of my office so people notice that I have them. The only problem is that people keep taking them because they like them too.
That said, one of your laundry bags became my favourite and so is now displayed on my office wall. It’s the “Aussie surf” one. I suspect it won’t be long before someone claims it as their own. But that’s half the joy 🙂
My tour ends soon so I will be attending the AHQ function at the end of November.
Thank you for the post card. I can honestly say that the laundry bags will be useful and should have no problems finding a good home for them.
Kind regards

The following people have sent off quilts and laundry bags this week. If you think you should be on this list for some reason please don’t hesitate to let me know. It is so easy to be interrupted when entering data and saving files and sending emails so it is also easy to accidentally leave someone off the list. 

Julie Ann

Big reminder!  PLEASE when you email me to let me know that you have posted a quilt off can you please give me the person’s first and last name.   It makes it soooo much easier for me to find them on my list.  Some of you have made so many quilts now that I can nolonger search on your name alone nor is searching on “the nurse quilt” or “the Maroons quilt” practical.  Your help in this matter is much appreciated.

That is all from me for today- I am off to sew!!!!  

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

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