Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Grati-Tuesday 27 May


G'day all.  

 I hope I am managing to pass across to everyone the warm response that I get when I talk to serving members, their families, past and present recipients.  Whether it be by email, letter or phone conversation, the response is always warm friendly and appreciative.  Often it will be a brief one liner that speak volumes.  Someone fairly senior wrote the other day that there is a growing ground swell of admiration for AHQ amongst the service community.  Many of the requests I receive for quilts come direct to me via email and just about every one of them end with a comment about how much the pending recipient and his/her colleagues appreciate what we do.  

I post the gratitude messages once a week unless something special comes up but I am seeing evidence of appreciation just about every day.   Last night's post about the War Memorial having selected the Aussie Heroes blog to archive was very well received.  What you don't see, but I do, is the backgrounds of the people responding.  Recipients from as early as 2012, and one very special one from 2011, left comments last night.  Also last night another recipient from 2012 left a comment on Facebook 


I got an Aussie Hero Quilt in 2012 whilst in Afghanistan!  I must say how great it was to receive such a beautiful piece of work. The quality is second to none, it is currently in storage safely sealed in a vacuum bag. It will be something I get out for my children!
Keep up the great work, a big thank you to everyone involved!

When I make my flying visit to Townsville at the end of June I will be catching up with another 2012 recipient who wants to hang his quilt on the wall to enjoy.  

Once you send your quilt off and it is received it continues to bring joy and comfort for a long time to come and I don't believe it is just the quilts either.

Grab a cuppa and enjoy a good read tonight.  There is so much negative stuff around to read I always love to read the messages we receive back from the quilts and laundry bags.  We don't expect them but they are so nice to receive.  

Enjoy!

.....
Hi Hilary

Thank you very much for time and effort that you put in for the quilt it's great! .
Again thank you and to everyone involved for taking the time to making and sending over the laundry bags and quilts as they have been extremely well received over here.
I am glad to have received the quilt in time and would like to thank yourself and the Nambour Christian Collage Quilters for the time and effort you put into making it.

.....
 Cath was a bit lucky and was able to have a Snap Chat with her recipient.  If you don't know that what is find a teenager to explain it to you.  He had tried to send he an email but it bounced.   After their chat he tried again and this is part of it.

To Catherine,

I am just writing to thank you greatly for sending me the Aussie Hero quilt that I received a few weeks ago. Firstly I’d like to say it is absolutely fantastic and exactly what I wanted when I put in an order and said what I would like on it. Added to that, I was surprised with the secret message that was on there as well, which was a nice personal touch, so thank you for adding that in after you were finished with it. Secondly I would also like to apologise for not sending you a thank you message earlier, however you could probably well imagine things around here are extremely hectic and the days go by so quickly, you tend to forget the important things, which is the support we get from home, including generous people like you and your very large family that go out of their way to show their support and appreciation. 


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Good evening Joan & Robin,

I received my rose laundry bag yesterday, as we had a lot of mail delivered onboard.

I would like to thank you both for your kind efforts and time put into making me a laundry bag.

I am very much appreciative and happy with my laundry bag.

Thank you both very much.

I hope you have a wonderful evening.

Take care.
.....

Dear Joan and Robin

I was recently lucky enough to receive a laundry bag that you had made! Thank you so much! It's excellent and is serving me well as we speak!

I am currently deployed with Force Protection Element One in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Our mission is to provide protection to advisers and VIPs that are mentoring the hierachy of the Afghan National Army. The job that we are doing here is really an integral part of finally leaving Afghanistan in a way that will allow them to further bring peace and security as best they can to their own country.

Once again I'm really grateful for what you, and people like you, are doing for me and my mates serving. A lot of people at home don't realise that there are still men and women working here.

Thank you so much,
.....

The following thank you is for a quilt pieced by Katrina and quilted by Hilary. 

Hi Jan-Maree

I have received my beautiful made West Tigers quilt and laundry bag. All the ladies workmanship and dedication to this great project is gracefully acknowledged by all of the personnel onboard Darwin. Once again thank you to yourself and your team for all the fantastic support to Darwin and the ADF whilst on operations, take care.

Cheers

......

Dear Evelyn,

There are no words that can express the thanks which I felt on upon opening your box to find a wonderful quilt which was made just for me. As you can quite imagine the highlight of our days is receiving mail from home.

I have written you a hand written card to express my thanks but I thought you might like some photos as well.   Its true my short Deployment here is about to wrap up, I only have a few more days to get all my work done then think about packing up my room and heading home. 

I am so glad that your family support your quilt making, it is truly inspirational that you take the time out of your day to make something that brings so much joy to others. Two of the ladies received their quilts this week, and even one of them cried cause she loved it so much. It really made their days. 

Thank you so much for such a wonderful quilt. As I am just in the start of my career (only my third year) I will now have a blanket to travel with me on my adventures, as I go on I am sure that there will be many an exercise, course and perhaps another deployment in the future which I can take my quilt with me and brighten up my room.

Thank you again so much, and God bless.


.....

Dear Evelyn
Thankyou for the quilt I received. I could see the amount of effort you have done and I'm  very happy with it. I was in the military post office and I had a small crowd surrounding me intently anticipating the opening of my package. When they saw the words "big dog" written on the quilt there were a few smiles and laughs and I could sense my colleagues are impatiently waiting for theirs.

I am starting to see a few quilts come through the military post system and my colleagues are enjoying the boxes of morale as we call them. We appreciate your time and effort you guys do for serving Defence members.  

Thankyou and your amazing team for supporting us whilst overseas. I wish you and all your family well.

Regards
.....

Hello Sue,

Thankyou so much for designing and sending my Aussie Heroes quilt, it was a great surprise to receive in the mail run!   I absolutely love the quilt - the nurse themed designs are great, I will be posting it on the Aussie Heroes facebook page!  Thankyou again for this gift, it's always nice to receive mail from back home, and very thoughtful of you to be involved in the Australians' deployments : )

.....

Hi Joan,

Just a short note to thank you for the beautiful laundry bag I received when I arrived in theatre this week. My bag has very cute elephants balancing apples on it and since elephants are supposed to be good luck, I hope it serves me well over here. Its also brightening an otherwise quite drab living quarter!


Thank you for the time and effort you put into making lovely things for us over here. Its always nice to know that we are being thought of and supported from home.


Regards,

.....

Dear Peggy,

I am the very lucky recipient of your beautiful quilt. I wanted to write to you and say thank you for all the hard work that you have obviously put into this quilt and thank you for your
continued support of the Aussies still here in Afghanistan. With so much
going on in peoples lives and your own so busy with your little ones it is
inspiring that you can find the time to add brightness to a stranger's life
on deployment.

I am enjoying the challenge of working over here, coping with the
irregularities and conditions and knowing that I have your beautiful quilt
on my bed to snuggle up in when I get to sleep is a fantastic feeling. So
once again I'd like to thank you, thank you, thank you!

.....


Hi Debbie,

I hope this email finds you well.

It was great to hear from you again and even more so as it meant that my quilt had arrived.  This was our first mail drop in a month and there were lots of quilts and care packages being received.


Let me just begin by saying I absolutely love my quilt!!!!  You did an amazing job!  Blue is my favourite colour as I find it some soothing and the blues you have used were wonderful.  To have the Doctor Who and Simpsons blend is simply amazing.  I don't know how you made a tardis, and Homer in a sailor's uniform but it looks brilliant and it is going to get a lot of use!!!

Again thank you so very much for both the quilt and the laundry bag.  It is such a wonderful thing that you do for so many people and it really makes a difference in our life onboard the ships away from home.

Have a great night and I look forward to hearing from you. 

I figured you needed to see this quilt to know what he was writing about.




....

Dear Jan-Maree,

I just received my Quilt, thank you very much, I love it and from what I have heard around the ship everyone else has too, they are a great moral boost and I'm sure everyone will keep them, use them and will remember their time up here, as I will.  Or eventually donate them to needy families or causes in the future, which will add to the good will you are spreading. 


The work you do is really great and has made me think of doing more to help others especially when I eventually get out of the navy. 

I Have been in the navy for 15 years now and it is amazing to Know that there are people such as yourself, your friends and groups like the RSL willing to go out of their way for us all. 

you have my sincere thanks and gratitude for all you have done for myself, and all the others.  You have made this long trip away from home and 
loved ones a little easier to bear.


Your's Sincerely

.....


Hi Jan-Maree, 

Today I received the quilt from Anne and it is fantastic. Its on my bed already.

I have sent her an email thanking her.   Thanks again - its a great gift and please keep on doing it as it does make a real difference to us here

.....


Dear Sue,
Thank you very much for the laundry bag it will be very useful whilst deployed.    This is the biggest deployment I have undertaken to date and as with all deployments the hardest part is missing loved ones back home, not to mention our beautiful country.
 Through the deployment we have seen some good port visits including Diego Garcia, Kochi in India, Muscat in Arman, Doha in Qatar and Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania.
 Thank you once again! for the laundry bag it will be used a lot. Your work means a lot to those of us deployed.
....
Hi Alicia,

I hope this email finds you well.

I am the Chaplain on HMAS Darwin that you generously sent a parcel to recently.  We finally had a mail drop today (first in about a month) and it was so wonderful to receive your package with the laundry bag and beanies in it.  Thank you so much for taking the time to make both the bag and the beanies I really appreciate such a selfless and generous gift.  The laundry bag found a home straight away.


Now it is very hot up here at the moment and I wondered if I could find homes for the beanies.  But I keep forgetting that we have people who work in very cold departments on the ship as they need constant cold water running through the equipment to keep them functioning.  Well two of our hair-challenged (i.e. bald) members who work in these compartments jumped at the gift of beanies and I am sure they will keep their ears and scalp warm for a very long time.


Thanks again we really do appreciate what you have done for us.


God bless,

.....
Good Morning Rita,
Firstly, I apologise for the tardy response but I was waiting to get a photo
of myself with your beautiful Quilt
Thank-you also for your lovely letter that you wrote - I enjoyed reading
about your family and the longevity of your amazing marriage.

As you mentioned in your letter, it's starting to  warm up here in
Afghanistan, but with the air-conditioner cranked up it can get quite cold
at night sometimes.  The laundry bag gets used weekly and when I return in July, I'm sure you can appreciate, the quilt will be most
welcome at that time of the year.

I can't thank you enough for your time, support and generosity to myself and
every Australian digger currently deployed. Your letter and beautiful
craftsmanship remind us all of the wonderful people back home we have sworn
to protect in our great nation.  Kind people such as yourself make me proud
to be a member of the Australian Defence Force and your self-less
contribution to our efforts is appreciated by us all.

I know that for many years to come, whenever I see my quilt and use my
laundry bag it will not only remind me of my proud time in Afghanistan, but
I will remember you and your generosity with fondness.

Thank-you again from the bottom of my heart,

You're an amazing lady,
...

Dear Jan-Maree and Kym



Thank you so much for the quilt, it was truly the highlight of my day! To have a little personalized piece of home to come back to every day is amazing. It is very humbling to know that we are still being thought of by the kind folk back in Australia and that the sacrifices we make are appreciated. The effort and craftsmanship Kym has put into the quilt is fantastic, please pass on my thanks!


Quite a few people from our unit have received quilts and laundry bags from your organization, I've heard nothing but universal praise for the good work you are doing over here.

Kind Regards
.....

Dear Louise,

I am currently serving in Afghanistan. I wanted to write to you to thank you sincerely for the wonderful laundry bag that you have generously made for me. I absolutely love it and of course would be the envy of all my swans fans friends...

I am finding the deployment a challenge in a good way and am lucky to have been given the opportunity to work here. Thank you once again for your time and effort in making our lives brighter on a daily basis, and to your family also in helping you with these projects. Please know that you are appreciated.

Kind Regards

......
A lovely message for Christine C and her sister, Alison

Ma'am,

            I have been a lucky recipient of a laundry bag, made by your sister.



I am writing to express my sincere gratitude, both for the lovely bag, & also for the kind thoughts that you have for complete strangers such as myself. It is touching to be reminded that people we don't even know care about our welfare & receiving the gift has put that into perspective. 


I have been in the Army for nearly 15 years & this is my third deployment in that time. I have been very fortunate in my career & although we are volunteers, the sacrifices we make do have an effect on our families & friends. We are here doing what we love & making the most of life, but it is very nice to know that as 'public servants' that our community supports our efforts & feels them worthwhile.

The bag is lovely, I am almost afraid to use it it is so nice ! & not only will it be functional, but it will also be a treasured reminder that in a world filled with no end of nastiness of all descriptions, that there is also so much good.

Thank you very much, please thank your sister profusely on my behalf & know that your thoughts are very much appreciated, 

yours sincerely 
......


Jan

Thank you so much for the quilt. Louise, Stephanie and the rest of the ladies did an absolutely awesome job! If you could pass on my personal thanks to them also it would be much appreciated. It’s definitely a morale boost receiving that quilt. I have already received my laundry bag and have been in contact with the maker north of Adelaide as well. The laundry bag was also a fantastic job!
Thank you again for the all the effort that you put into this, I wish you and Aussie Hero Quilts all the best for the future as well. 
.....
Sometimes I receive a request and I just love the sound of it.  This was one of those cases. A pink with with Submarines and Aircraft.  I had to check that noone was playing games on this fellow and that he really wanted pink.  The answer was yes please to pink because the Junior Sailors on many of the ships compete to see who can have the girliest bedding but he wanted the submarines and aircraft as that relates to his work.  Those of us who worked on this quilt loved it and we were so relieve to see that he did too.

Jan-Maree,


We conducted a replenishment at sea (RAS) yesterday and received a back log of mail. I also received my quilt made by yourself, Kiwi Karen, Rachel and Joyce.


Let me start with - you exceeded all expectation and I absolutely love the quilt. In fact, it's not just me; people who have seen it, may be a little jealous. The detail in the submarines and aircraft is absolutely mind blowing and I could not believe it was possible to have that much detail in stitching. Although pink in theme you have managed to keep in "manly" enough with the select combination of pink tiles. I love the skulls and cross bones as will as the pink poodle you selected for me; I also have one or two tiles which display the pink ribbon supporting breast cancer and that is a cause I'm happy to support. I am not sure if you saw the finished product but the stitching Joyce selected is unreal. It is a combination of stars, assault rifles and tanks (there maybe more I haven't found yet). All in all, like I said you and your fellow quilters have exceeded all expectation and I absolutely love it. I'm glad you enjoyed making it, because I think it's fantastic.

Thank you, and please forward my message to everyone involved.

Once again I can not express the gratitude I have for what you and you fellow quilters have created, it is truly a piece of art.


.....

Hello Jan-Maree,

Thank you so much for organising my quilt, I absolutely love it. It is very well made and I love the design. Please pass on my thanks to the lady/ladies who made it for me. It is definitely what my room needed, as you can probably see how drab it would look without the added colour :-)

We do really appreciate what you ladies do for us, and I know the time and effort and not to mention the cost involved in creating the quilt. It is really such a lovely gesture, it is nice to see majority of the defence employees taking you up on this offer, at least most that I talk to have. :0)

Once again thank you.



Hi Liz

Thank you very much for time and effort that you put in for the laundry bag it's great! I have been using a pillow case so it has been extremely helpful when it comes time for putting on a new load of washing. I wish we had a climate similar to South Oz over here , starting to get nice and warm over here haha.


Again thank you and to everyone involved for taking the time to making and sending over the laundry bags and quilts as they have been extremely well received over here. 

......

Great messages for tonight. 

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

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