Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Grati-Tuesday 20 May....

Hi all, some really special messages here tonight.  Enjoy! 
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Another one of our BOM quilts, completed by Debra, has made it to its new home.

Dear Debra

I am an officer in the Royal Australian Corps of Transport.   I was honoured to learn that they quilt I received was exhibited at the Roma Patchwork and Crafters Quilt Show. My father was also in the Army and when I was younger we spent a number of years in Toowoomba. So I have been to Roma on a number of occasions since then (playing Rugby against Roma) and I have always enjoyed it. I still visit the region with work and after the Army my parents retired just out side of Toowoomba.   Sadly my father passed away last year, however; my mother remains there.

I will send a photo of the quilt in location. Please feel free to send the photo to the local paper with my thanks to all of the wonderful people of Roma. It is very humbling to receive the letters of support.

Please pass on my thanks to your family as well Paul, Thomas and Edward. 


I wish you and your family and the people of Roma, a happy and safe year.

.....

G'day Christine, 

I received your contribution of laundry bags today; please thank your sister for the outstanding seamstress work.  I delivered the bags to our RAEME brethren who vastly appreciated them and will surely put them to good use.   So on behalf of all the Laundry Bag recipients here in the MEAO, I thank you Christine for your care and constant support from home.
Take care and kind regards, 

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Hello Louise,
Thankyou so much for designing and sending my laundry bag, it was a great surprise to receive in the mail run!  It's always nice to receive mail from back home, and very thoughtful of you and your daughters to be involved in the Australians' deployments : )
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Hi Debbie

I had the privilege of receiving a quilt made by you.  Firstly I would like to thank you for all the quilts you have made for all the serving members of the defence force but I would like to especially thank you for the one that you made me.  It is perfect and I could not have asked for a better result.  I am glad that you follow the Broncos even though they are not having the best season this year.  I am sure that they will improve shortly.
Thank you again for all you have done for me and the rest of the defence community.  My kids can't wait to see the quilt and I am sure there will be some fighting in the house when I get back to see who can use it in the colder months.  I hope you and your family have a good farming year and keep safe.
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Dear Gale and Jenny, 

I wanted to thank you and your ladies for the joy you bring in the wonderful gift of the quilt. Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and it is one of the comforts I will have around me from home, even though my 4 children cannot be. It is also something I will pass on to my children, for when mummy was away on operations.

Your efforts are enjoyed by all, and pretty much every bed has one on them - such that they are treasured.  Once again, your selfless work is full of love and support, and felt so many miles away.

Kind regards,
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Good Morning Gale & Jenny,

Firstly, THANK-YOU THANK-YOU THANK-YOU for my most amazing and beautiful quilt! I absolutely LOVE IT and was in tears when I first opened it up! It is just stunning and far surpassed any expectation I may have had ....................... it will be treasured for years to come and for me, will become an heirloom!

The craft of quilting is wonderful and I envy the ladies (and men) who seem to be able to put these 'masterpieces' together so effortlessly! My quilt is so me - the colours, designs - everything! It is just PERFECT!!  


I use it every day and it takes pride of place on my rack - in fact, I now use it in place of my doona!  This is actually my third time serving up in the MEAO and the first time I have heard of the Aussie quilts! It is such a lovely idea and the smiles and pride the crew have when they receive their "specially made for you" quilt is just beautiful! It softens even the most toughest of sailors!! 


Thanks again ladies - I am overwhelmed at just how beautiful and perfect my 'masterpiece' is!!

kindest regards

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Hi Joanne,

I received your quilt and linen bag in the mail today. Thank you so much, they are lovely, and will add some colour to my room. It's a wonderful gesture to give up your time and effort to make these for serving members overseas.
Thank you once again 

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Good evening Pamela M,

I received your care package, and can't thank you enough for the time, effort and thought that went into it. The quilt brings some much-needed colour and cheer to my otherwise-sterile room - I smile every time I see it!  It is very heart-warming to receive such generosity from half-a-world away.

I wish all the best to you and your family, and hope the NSW weather is treating you well! It was fine and sunny for a long time before I deployed, but I suspect that may be starting to change...
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Joan and Robin,

Just a short note to say thank you very much for taking the time out to make and then send over the laundry bag. You are correct, it is very useful!   Such packages are disseminated amongst the various units located at Al Minhad Air Base and it is lucky-dip as to who gets what. 


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Good evening Mary,

I received your care package, and can't thank you enough for the time, effort and thought that went into it. The laundry bag is an especially nice touch, and much appreciated! It is very heart-warming to receive such generosity from half-a-world away.

The Tim Tams made it safe and sound, and I'm sure will be a big hit with my block mates.

I wish all the best to you and your family, and thank you again.
.....


Dear Joan and Robin,
Thank you very much for the laundry bag you made and sent to me.  I am based in Kandahar Afghanistan.  I appreciate the bag and it will make the boring job of doing my laundry that bit better, once again thank you very much.
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Dear Evelyn,

I along with my son received a Hero Quilt from you, last year.

I have been deployed on two border control operations, East Timor three times, Middle East five times.  So on my last deployment in 2013 I was excited to be going back while my son was there.

This last ANZAC Day Luke and I marched together in Canberra and gave an “eyes right “ to Sir peter Cosgrove and His Royal Highness Prince William, to say that it was one of the proudest moments of our lives is an understatement.

We also had the opportunity to finally get that photo (although I know that Luke has already sent one in).

In the picture my youngest daughter is helping to hold the quilts.  The young girl on the seat is my Grand Daughter (my son's daughter), it is significant as she was born while I was in Tarin Kowt, in February 2010.  Also significant is the fact that my other grand daughter was born while my son was in Tarin Kowt in December 2012.  The dog is my pet Flash. he is not yet two and already an important family member.

So you got me to a tee! I like sport, family and pets, especially dogs and Weststigers. This is why I am wearing my jersey.  Cricket is significant as well because my son and I played in the same team when we were living at Windsor.

Thanks again for your support for our deployed people and the Australian Defence Force (ADF), it is reassuring to know that there are people such as yourself, your friends and family that support us in the things we have to do and the places we go. 
  
Yours sincerely.






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Dear Rita,

What an absolute delight it was to receive the quilt that you made for me.  It is lovely and will have pride of place in our home, it is a perfect memory for my time overseas on deployment.

I have just completed my deployment and returned home and apologise for not responding when I received the quilt.  I literally was able to unpack the quilt and use it for a week before packing for home.  You were right in assuming that the temperatures were starting to climb rapidly with highs of 46 degrees, luckily it dropped considerably still at night.  Although based out of Al Minhad I spent nearly every two weeks in Kabul and Kandahar with the job I was doing; I was providing the Commander with decision support through operational research and scientific analysis.

Once again thank you for the great gift it is a great momento.


Kind regards





Dear Debbie,

Thank you for my quilt, it turned out really nice  The silhouette of the planes looks of the planes looks great.This is my second deployment to the Middle East.  It has been a great experience.
I am in my last week here after my six (6) month deployment.  I am looking forward to seeing family and friends.   Thank you again for my quilt.  Keep up the good work.  You definitely put smiles on everyones faces.

Regards,
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Dear Debbie,

I wanted to thank you for the quilt and laundry bag I received recently.  Coming over in the middle of the Afghan winter has been a rude shock from Townsville - so any additional warmth is much appreciated!

I am currently deployed to the south of Afghanistan.  I work as the platoon commander of a group of soldiers who protect Australian and American advisors who are helping the Afghan National Army develop and improve.

Its a fairly monotonous job and with the large amount of media focussing on the withdrawal of Australian soldiers from Afghanistan, it means a lot to the lads that there are Aussies back home still thinking of us.

Thanks again,

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Hi Anne,

I have received the custom quilt that you and your husband, Alan, made for me.  I am extremely happy and grateful.  I will take extra care and the quilt will be coming home with me at the end of my tour.  This is the best present ever!

Yours truly

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Dear Lisa,

I would like to sincerely thank you for the quilt I received a few weeks ago!  I really love it and the bright colours are fantastic in my room.  Thank you for the time and effort you took to make it for me, I know it is something I will keep forever.

As a Logistics Officer on my first deployment, it is genuinely a wonderful feeling to know there are organisations back home giving their time to send care parcels to us.  Currently, the ADF is continuing its mission here in Afghanistan to provide its own security, denying the use of Afghanistan as a base for terrorist activities into the future.  Every parcel received by a member of the ADF is greatly appreciated and has positive effects on morale as a number of troops continue to serve in support, mentoring and advisory roles in 2014.

All the best for your next quilt, I am sure it will be great!

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Dear Debbie,

I am writing to you to express my thanks and sincere gratitude for the Peppa Pig quilt that you so kindly made and sent to my 4 year old daughter last month.  I had planned to return to Australia for the last week of the school holidays (as a break), but the tempo in South Sudan precluded me from doing so.  However, I finally managed to get home for a week and only just returned to South Sudan yesterday to find a wonderful parcel of me and a lovely washing bag.  Again, I can simply only offer my sincere thanks.

By all accounts, my wife tells me that my daughter loves her quilt and will not be separated from it - she takes it everywhere.  It certainly cheered her up, even if the significance of the quilt and its origins is a mystery to her.

I have been meaning to write to both you and Jan Maree for some time to express my gratitude.  It is difficult to describe how appreciative many of us are when people at home show interest or care for us while deployed.  Even the opportunity to respond to Australian school childrens letters is something that I take pleasure in and get great satisfaction from their interest.

So, the efforts of all like yourself, Alan and your family are very much in our minds as people who have their own dilemmas and yet and take the time to consider us.

Regards,
.....

Dear Jan Maree,
I would like to sincerely thank you and Belinda for your kind gifts sent earlier this year. The laundry bag, quilt and ANZAC biscuits were greatly appreciated, with the quilt being displayed proudly in my office, used every day and routinely admired by visitors.
I know you all are already well aware of the tremendous impact that yours and your supporters gifts of quilts, laundry bags and ANZAC biscuits have in raising morale for those separated from loved ones and living in demanding circumstances.  They continually bring fresh excitement to deployed personnel and assist in maintaining their connection with local Australian communities.
You will also know that Afghanistan still remains a dangerous environment, but you should rest assured that your Defence Force is performing well in assisting in providing stability and in developing the capacity for Afghanistan to provide its own security.  This important task aims to deny the use of Afghanistan as a base for terrorist activities into the future.
The support provided by you and your community plays a tremendous and important role in keeping morale high and our forces operating at their best.
From a personal perspective, you got my quilt spot on.  Growing up farming, I have seen my share of the Australian bush and I retain a strong sentimental attachment to it still.  The fancy kangaroo stitching is just brilliant and I ask that you pass on my sincerest thanks to Belinda.  Between the Australian bush and the Rising Sun badge, you seem to have captured my life very well indeed.
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Dear Gale and Jenny,

Thank you for the lovely quilt I received this weekend. I have shown my workmates and we all agree; the colours are rich and beautiful, the stars of the Southern Cross magnificent and the quilt provides us with fond thoughts of home.

The work of Aussie Hero Quilts is greatly appreciated by the deployed members of Joint Task Force 633.

The quilts are a lasting and tangible item, highlighting there are Australians at home thinking of us, our safety and welfare.

Our country is well served, I offer, not by our service men and women, but by Australians such as you.  You represent the best of our nation - thank you.

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Dear Debbie,

First I would like to thank you so much for such a thoughtful gift.  Many of us Australian soldiers are receiving these and it gave me such an overwhelming feeling of happiness to open the package and see such an intricately designed blue quilt with a huge figure of Batman on it - with the added delight at the sight of delicious Tim Tams.

I have to say the days here are long and sometimes the work is tough.  However reading your letter and hearing countless stories on the new and reading various newspapers about farmers and the tough times they so often face with the harshness of the Australian climate makes me think how lucky I am to do the job Im doing.

You thank me for serving our wonderful country, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your husband for being the backbone of Australia and sticking it out in the tough times that many Australians would most likely never have to endure.

Serving overseas is an honour and a privilege.  I look around each day with satisfaction that we are making  difference and helping this country establish a stable democracy, freedom from tyranny and a fair go which Australians so luckily enjoy everyday.

Lastly, Debbie thank you again for this amazingly thoughtful gift.  Good luck, and I wish you and your family and bright and prosperous future.

Regards,
......

Dear Leanne,
I am writing to thank you for the meticulously crafted quilt and laundry bag I received recently.  I know that I, as well as the troops, am very excited to receive gifts such as these and are often overwhelmed by the gestures of individuals like yourself.  Personally it was a most thoughtful, as well as useful, gift and I know these gifts are gratefully received by all who are lucky enough to find one addressed to them.  I was particularly impressed by the high quality of the craftsmanship.  I cant imagine how many hours it must have taken to complete?
Your efforts, along with all the other contributors to Aussie Hero Quilts, are doing so much good work for Australian sons and daughters serving so far away from home.  Hopefully you can take pride in knowing that you have directly improved the morale of an Australian solider.
Also, thank you for the letter that accompanied the gift.  It was interesting to read about the hard times faced by our sugar cane farmers on the North Coast of NSW and the bushfires affecting the area.
It is an honour and a privilege to deploy overseas to help Afghanistan become a safer place; and aid in maintenance of security for Australia.  Its particularly encouraging to know that the works our troops are doing is recognised and appreciated by fellow Australians like yourself.
All the best for a successful and prosperous 2014, and again thank you for your generous gift and words of support.
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Dear Diana,

I am currently serving overseas with the Australian Army, which Im sure you are already aware.  I am writing to thank you for the meticulously crafted Geelong AFL-themed quilt that I received recently.

First of all, can I just say WOW!  It was a fantastic surprise to receive a gift of such quality of theme and craftsmanship.  The time and effort you have put into making this quilt is understated by any word that could be used to describe.  I cant imagine how many hours it must have taken to complete.

You personally have gone above and beyond in bringing some extra joy and happiness for me whilst serving away from home and my family.  The quilt you have just made for me cannot be called a quilt - that wouldnt do it justice.  Its a piece of art that I will forever display as a wall hanging (with my wifes permission, of course).

The overwhelming the support that we receive from Aussie Hero Quilts is absolutely amazing.  I know that I, as well as the troops are very excited to receive gifts such as these and are often overwhelmed by the gestures of individuals like yourself. These gifts are gratefully received by all who are lucky enough to find one addressed to them.  It is fantastic to see that we are still thought of while serving overseas.

I wish I could say more to show my appreciation for the time, effort and additional thought you have  put into making me this wonderful quilt. Your efforts, along with all the other contributors to Aussie Hero Quilts is doing so much good work for Australian sons and daughters serving so far away from home.  Hopefully you can take pride in knowing that you have directly improved the morale of an Australian soldier.

It is an honour and privilege to deploy overseas to help Afghanistan become a safer place and win the maintenance of security for Australia.  Its particularly encouraging to know that the work our troops are doing is recognised and appreciated by fellow Australians like yourself.

I wish you all the best to you and your family for a successful and prosperous 2014, and again, thank you for your generous gift and words of support.
 .....

Irene

Thank you very much for my quilt - I LOVE it.

I can only imagine the hard work and effort that you have put into it, especially seeing as it was out of your comfort zone.  I feel that you have done an excellent job.

I will get a photo of me with the quilt and send it to you.

I love that you have made so many quilts for so many different organisations and that you have been doing it for so long.

The centre panel of the quilt is amazing.  Its gob smacking that you sourced it from a quilt shop in Darwin as well, which is where I spent some of my time before I joined the Navy.

Also, thank you very much for the lollies - they went down very well with my team mates at our latest trivia night.

.....

Dear Sue,

I have just received your two parcels, a quilt and laundry bag, that you sent to me.  Both parcels arrived safe and undamaged.

I am very thankful for the gifts; and the time and effort that you put into making them.  It is always great when we receive mail from loved ones, but from people who we do not know its just heartfelt.

A lot of Australians dont understand what we, as soldiers, or our families go through - especially frontline soldiers like myself.  However the parcels we receive from people like yourself is proving that Australians are understanding and supporting us more.

I have always kept all my gifts and letters from my deployments - this is number 5 - so I can show my children and then theirs.

Football is great fun in our house, as my two daughters are Collingwood supporters and my wife is an Adelaide Crows supporter.  Im a Life Member at Collingwood.  My wife thinks Ive brainwashed my daughters into supporting Collingwood!

Again, I would like to thank you for the quilt and laundry bag.  Please keep up the excellent work - we as Australian soldiers appreciate it.
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Dear Pauline,

I am writing to thank you for the meticulously crafted quilt and laundry bag I received recently.  I know that I, as well as the troops, am very excited to receive gifts such as these and are often overwhelmed by the gestures of individuals like yourself.
Personally it was a most thoughtful, as well as useful, gift and I know these gifts are gratefully received by all who are lucky enough to find one addressed to them.  I was particularly impressed by the high quality of the craftsmanship.  I cant imagine how many hours it must have taken to complete?
Your efforts, along with all the other contributors to Aussie Hero Quilts, are doing so much good work for Australian sons and daughters serving so far away from home.  Hopefully you can take pride in knowing that you have directly improved the morale of an Australian solider.
It is an honour and a privilege to deploy overseas to help Afghanistan become a safer place; and aid in maintenance of security for Australia.  Its particularly encouraging to know that the works our troops are doing is recognised and appreciated by fellow Australians like yourself.
All the best for a successful and prosperous 2014, and again thank you for your generous gift and words of support.

....
Dear Pennie,

I would like to thank you and your Mother-in-law, Valda, for the wonderful gifts that I received from you.

The Aboriginal print reminds me of home so much and is a place which is currently close to my heart as I am posted to the Northern Territory and have been for the past two years.

I thought it was quite nice that you found this fabric in Perth as that was my hometown prior to joining the RAAF nearly 25 years ago.

I thank you for the thought and the laundry bag.  It will definitely brighten my room, as things can get a little bland in this area - theres not much greenery to see at all.

The treats remind me of opening the kitchen cupboard and seeing what I can find to munch on when there is spare time at home; and is such a nice thought.

I know by your work that you must be a caring person.  I find it immensely touching that you still find the time to do these things for us.  I am glad you enjoy sewing so much and I hope you can find loads of spare time in your busy life to relax and enjoy it.

Once again, thank you very much for the amazing gift and I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,
.....

And finally for those of you who did not see this on facebook last night - this little fellow was born just a couple of days prior to his dad deploying!  Can you imagine!  When Dad finally had a chance to request a quilt there was not time to post it to his home so I arranged that he would send me a pre-paid satchel on his return so that we could get a quilt to him.  Instead, his loving wife got hold of me and sent the satchel so that she could meet him at the airport with the quilt, made by Nancy, draped over their son.  Yesterday this photo was posted on our facebook page with the message that fifteen months later he is still sleeping on his quilt!  Got to love that.  

Some lovely messages tonight.  I add them as they come in each day but before I publish them I read them all through again, mostly to edit and proof them.  I can't help be moved by the words tonight, must have been a bit of sand around for some reason.  I am so glad to know that we are doing something that brings smiles to faces and warmth to hearts.

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

3 comments:

  1. Wow Jan-Maree that is quite a list of thank yous. I do believe some of that sand has blown my way too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think there was some sand here too JM!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a bumper crop of letters! They say it all, what we do matters.

    ReplyDelete