Thursday, 7 June 2012

Belvedere is Back and SO MUCH MORE!

Once again we received another thank you message - this time in relation to this quilt shown here made by Liz.


My quilt and laundry bag arrived today. They both look great. When I get back to my room tonight I'll see about putting the quilt up and using eh laundry bag. Could you pass onto Elizabeth my thanks for her efforts. They both look brilliant. Hopefully I will find sometime to write her a thanks you letter.


I might add that this guy has been really helpful to me, answering some emails and giving me some advice.  All these guys are really keen to support what we are doing.


You may also remember that my sister is a teacher and she organised for one of her classes to write to the soldiers.  The letters ended up on the desk of one of the chaplains I had been emailing (til he came home) and he passed them on to another soldier to send a reply - this is what came.




Please thank your Year 8 Society and Environment class for their written letters to us. I apologise for the delay in our response. We are soldiers from the Special Operations Task (SOTG) based in Perth, WA, so we are very familiar with the Wheat belt of Western Australia. A special thanks to Matilah, Maddison, Tegan, Luke, Rachelle, Marin, Lawson, Brittany, Ashley, Tysen, and Darnell who I have personally read their letters and drawings. 


In answer to some of the questions; I see the weather in Perth and assume XXXXXXXX has dropped in temperature over the last week.  The temperature here in Afghanistan is currently 35 degrees celcius and warming up as we are coming into summer where it is expected to reach 45.   I do not have a quilt on my bed as the temperature at night now is warm enough for just a sheet on the bed.  My room is average size broken into four smaller areas with four of us living together which is like sleeping in a room with your brothers or sisters.  Did you all enjoy ANZAC day service and what did you learn?  


Matilda great job on your drawing.  Maddison how is the little calf doing?  Yes, at times it is scary fighting but the training we do keeps us better prepared.  In winter the temperate drops to below zero and in summer as high as 50 in the middle of the afternoon.  Yes, we had an Anzac day service with the Governor General giving us a visit.  Thank you for having a minute of silence for the fallen as we have a few friends that have been killed both in training and on operations.  We do fight day and night; however, rest when we can.  This is my 3rd tour of Afghanistan; however, I do have friends that are on their 6th tour.  I have not been hurt and do not plan on it Tegan and yes luck is on my side Luke.  Yes we do have electricity which is provided by a generator, which at times, runs out of fuel so we are left in the dark.  The environment in Afghanistan is very different to Western Australia; however, they do have a lot of wheat farming with hot summers and cold winters just like XXXXXXXX.  


I have been in the Army for 27 years with a number of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Anzac day we had a dawn service, played some two up and had our two beers which was a very enjoyable day Marin.  Most days we come back to our base; however, we do fight at night.  We are not the only country fighting in Afghanistan Lawson we have soldiers from USA, Canada, UK, Romania, Lithuania, Italy, Germany, Slovacian, Jordan, and Singapore.  Never badly hurt Brittany just little injuries.  No Ashley, I am not scared that the base might get attacked at night. I work very hard during the day so I sleep like a baby when we are not working.  Tysen, my training is what goes through my head in the heat of battle.  Being a good soldier is like being good at school, work or life in general you must practice and train to be at your best when the time comes.  My favourite sport is Australian Rules football but enjoy most sports and my favourite team is Richmond. 


I have a small farm 10km East of XXXXXXX so I know how lucky you all are living in the Wheat belt of Western Australia. Thank you all for the letters and pictures and I hope you all enjoyed Anzac Day and we really appreciate you support.


What a thoughtful guy!  I can't get over the fact that he mentioned each child by name and answered a lot of their questions and very reassuringly too.  Naturally after my sister passed me his email I sent a reply asking him if he would like a quilt  and his reply was 


I would love for you to send me a quilt and laundry bag; however, is it possible to have it delivered to my home address as the mail is very slow and unlikely to arrive before I return from this deployment. I placed your email adddress on the notice board so you may, if not already, have requests from the guys here. We all appreciate the work and support your group is providing and love to get the mail from schools like XXXXXXXX.


As luck would have it I have a great quilter not too far from where he lives and she is happy make a quilt and get it to him!   Again this fellow has been very helpful as well.


Look who is back.  Belvedere organised his humans and look what he sent.  Three fabulous photos modeling his quilt 


and laundry bag extremely well!
I think he is pretty happy with them don't you?
And last but definitely not least


The following is a pretty special email from a pretty special guy who has lived and worked in the most remote areas  ever operated in by our Army.  I am blown away to think that one of our care packages and quilts made it out to him and just so grateful that it did.  This is one of the 125 quilts that we sent in the first mailing.  So, if you sent a quilt back then and are wondering why we haven't heard from many of the recipients read on and then check out the link above.  And thank you, thank you, thank you to whoever made his quilt.  We may never know who that was but we know it was appreciated!


I just want to say a quick thank you for your support and care package. Love the Quilt its currently on my swag and everyone who sees it comments on it.

It really did help me out and lift my spirits whilst I was building the Patrol Base Chakajuy.

We recently had our dawn service to remember the fallen and although it was low key (because of the place we were in) It was still special. The mortar Team fired a Southern Cross  Pattern with flares in the wee hours of the morning which was a nice gesture.
And I said a few prayers for Snowy and Smithy who are the true heroes and will never be forgotten.

So a bit about me, I am an Australian Engineer (Electrician) from 2CER Working on the front line working with my fellow tradesman and plant operators. We are building an Australian and Afghan Patrol Base which is the most furthermost region we as an army have operated in.  It takes around 3 to 5 days road move to get out to the Patrol base with a few dangerous obstacles on the way.  We are building the base so we can continue to Mentor the ANA (Afghan National Army). The Mentoring is challenging but rewarding in the end.

We have finished the patrol base now and I am back at the Main base in TK that is why I can write this letter to you. Our counterparts are now slowly filtering in so we can get home to our friends and family back to sunny Australia.

Being 3rd generation Army my family are proud what I’m doing and will be there to greet me when I return.

Once again on behalf of my mates, we salute you for the package and encouraging words. 

As I said before I am just blown away that one of our parcels got to him and so darn proud it did!  Wouldn't you just love to shake his hand or give him a hug!  Okay so I am a big softie- just don't tell my kids!  I wanted to know more about where he was, just for interest, and lucked upon this excellent article which will amplify the information he has given in his message.  I strongly recommend you read the it.


Well I think that is enough for now don't you?


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

3 comments:

  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing these fantastic emails Jan-Maree!!! ... Belevedere is adorable!! And that quilt you made him is perfect!!!

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  2. Your inbox must be overflowing. The quilt for Belvedere is certainly the right size for him, very cute.

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  3. Yes, I was wondering if you knew the size of Belvedere when you made the quilt. Or is it coincidental that his body fits perfectly within the outline of the applique??!!

    I'm so glad you're getting so many responses to your sent packages. Warms the heart!

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