Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Grati-Tuesday

Hi all,
So, do any of you remember SuperDad?   Well if you don't you can check out the story here.  Suffice to say he is one funny character who kept me on my toes when he submitted his request for quilts and laundry bags for his team of six and then endeared himself to all of us at our dinner in Brisbane last year. Well I have just heard from him today and he let me know that he and his wife, as of yesterday, are now the proud parents of a third daughther.  Mother and daughter are doing well.  Dad, I am not so sure about.  I think he has started to think about those three weddings he is going to have to pay for, after he has fended off all the unsuitable suitors in the way that only a big tall, intimidating military man can do!  LOL 

Cuuuuuute!!!!!  She obviously gets her looks from mum.  
I kind of hope she gets her temperament from Mum too or Mum will have her hands full!

:-D

So on with a load of wonderful thank you mesages.  Enjoy

Joan (and Robin),

I just wanted to write and personally thank you for the care package I received today.  The laundry bag is just what I needed and I also thank you for the magazines you sent; I will have a good read of these.  My team and I are deployed in the Middle East region, providing support to the Major Fleet unit from Australia in its task to combat terrorism, conduct counter piracy and counter drugs operations and to ensure regional stability and security.

Knowing that there are Australians back at home who take the time and care to send us care packages and gifts is incredibly warming and something that neither I nor any other serviceman or woman takes for granted.

Many thanks again and please keep up the great work supporting Australians doing their best to protect Australia's interests overseas.


Warmest regards

.....

Hi Robin,
You recently made a quilt and laundry bag for me and I'd just like to say that I received it, and thank you so much!! It arrived on my birthday as well, so the timing couldn't have been better!
It's perfect and your attention to detail is amazing. Attached are some photos for you. I cant thank you enough for such a wonderful job and it will be treasured for many years to come (I even think my kids will be very envious of the quilt - I think I'll end up having to share that with them!)

Again thank you Robin for your support and spending your time and effort to make these. Its wonderful to know that fellow Australians care about their service men and women and some such as yourself go all out and show that support by doing things like this.   

Warm regards,


.....

Dear Sue N,
Thank you so much for the Hero Quilt you sent me.
It makes me very happy to know that there are still kind people like yourself back in Australia that care about our boys overseas.
This is my fourth deployment overall and second to Afghanistan.
I have been in the Army for ten years and as you can understand it means I've spent a lot of time away which is always difficult.
I have a great girlfriend who has stuck by me for my last two deployments so that always helps.
Once again I just like t osay a massive thank you from myself and all the lads from FP1.

.....
Dear Ed,

First of all, let me apologise for the long overdue reply to your letter.  On arriving back in Australia I have been quite busy - moving interstate and starting my graduate studies.

The quilt I received is absolutely amazing.  A lot of my mates were very jealous as the colours were perfect.  I also appreciate the letter you wrote, it was comforting to receive such a letter and read about someone that you know nothing about.

A bit about myself.  I worked in Sydney before joining the RAN for about five years ago.  Ive served on various ships throughout the fleet and for the most part love it.  While life in the Navy can be fairly demanding on your personal life and require a bit of sacrifice, the camaraderie is something that you just cant get elsewhere, particularly while serving at sea, especially on board HMAS Melbourne - we had such a great crew with so many cracking characters and personalities.

I left the ship early to commence my specialisation studies in Melbourne.  I wish I could stay here longer, but will be heading to Canberra at the end of the year.  On the plus side, Ill be closer to home and be able to take full advantage of the ski season.

Thank you again so much for the lovely quilt and letter; and apologies for taking so long to reply.

Yours sincerely.

.....


Dear Anne and Alan,
Thank you so very much for the quilt with the Southern Cross on it and the wildlife that Australia is synonymous with. It is a true work of art and I cannot imagine how many hours of work it took for you to create it.! !
My American roommate was so impressed with it, he photographed it and sent it to his wife (so did I).! !  I spent 29 years in the British Army and in 2006 transferred to the ADF. My family and I really enjoy Australia and all the wonderful things that go with being accepted by Australia.! !
I have spent almost eight years in the ADF and this is my second tour of Afghanistan with the ADF and my fourth overall.! !
We all really appreciate the outstanding support you dedicate to those of us who are deployed. It is truly inspiring.! !
To read that you have both served your country and through your connection with the RSL and
through your grandchildren’s attendance at ANZAC Day Dawn Service means that this tradition will continue into the future.! !
My son is at university and my daughter is at high school. Both of them have attended the Dawn
Service every year since we arrived in Australia.! !
I hope you enjoy the rest of the Autumn season, in what sounds like a lovely part of Australia.! !
Take care and I wish you the best of health. Thank you both for what you do.! !
Best wishes
.....

Dear Jan Maree,

I just wanted to write to you to let you know that I had received my quilt.  Thank you so much for all your efforts in organising this for me and everyone else who receives one.

Please pass on my thanks to everyone who contributed.  When I was little, my grandma made quilts with her friends for Childrens Medical Research and I know how much time and effort goes into making one!

Im sure you are told all the time - everyone talks about their quilts and we are all so grateful that people we dont know would take the time and effort to make something so special for us.  In the office, one of the girls has hers hanging up as artwork (she says its too special to use!)  I must admit that I will use mine as it is so wonderful it must be used!

Earlier on my deployment, I also received a cute caterpillar laundry bag from Joan.  It arrived on my birthday and it really helped to make the day special.  I carry my washing to the laundry in it and will definitely continue to use it once I am home.

I asked for a pink quilt as my fiancé received a blue quilt from your during his deployment (recently HMAS Melbourne) and he could not stop talking about it. I have not seen it as our deployments overlapped; but I understand it is also wonderful. 

I have had some amazing experiences in the Navy.  I have travelled a lot, made great friends and had some interesting jobs (including this one, and ADC to the Governor-General).

My fiancé and I met in the Navy and went through ADFA together.  Unfortunately we have been posted separately for the last five years and we've only seen each other for a few days in the last nine months.  Were looking forward to going overseas for a holiday when I get back.
 .....

Dear Jan Maree,

I am writing to thank you, Lyn and Kym for the wonderful quilt that you made me.

My name is xxxx (I am - according to Kylie - the soldier described as sporty, tall, dark and handsome..a runner  Very flattering).  We will be sending Kylie a separate thank you, but I thought it would be remiss of me not to thank you personally.

The quilt is lovely and the laundry bag will certainly be put to good use.  I will write a letter to your friend Chelly so as to thank her for it.

I really appreciate the time and effort that must have gone into making the quilt and laundry bag.  My godmother is an avid quilter and scrapbooker and my wife and my mum have both made small blankets for our two wonderful children.

Its interesting that you were once a RAAF ATC.  One of my best mates has been an ATC for almost 10 years.  When we were both posted to Townsville a few years ago, he showed me around the control tower and I watched the ATCs land a flight from Brisbane.  Fascinating stuff.

I think that your efforts with Aussie Hero Quilts are wonderful, Jan Maree.  It was a most pleasant surprise, especially now with only a few weeks left of my deployment, to receive such a gift.

I certainly hope that you, Lynn and Kym continue to produce such fine gifts for people - actions such as yours really make me proud of my service and immensely appreciative of the supportive efforts of Australians such as yourselves.

Once again, a most generous thank you.
.....

Joan (and Robin),

I just wanted to write and personally thank you for the care package I received today.  The laundry bag is just what I needed and I also thank you for the magazines you sent; I will have a good read of these.  My team and I are deployed in the Middle East region, providing support to the Major Fleet unit from Australia in its task to combat terrorism, conduct counter piracy and counter drugs operations and to ensure regional stability and security.

Knowing that there are Australians back at home who take the time and care to send us care packages and gifts is incredibly warming and something that neither I nor any other serviceman or woman takes for granted.

Many thanks again and please keep up the great work supporting Australians doing their best to protect Australia's interests overseas.


Warmest regards
....

Good morning Jan-Maree,

Your... pleased, "I'm over the moon" Thankyou thankyou thankyou Aussie Hero Quilts. 

Package arrived in great order at the foot of my door at lunchtime yesterday 08 Jul 14.

I love it... In fact..."it's fantastic..." I am so appreciative of all the hard work gone into it. You have dedicated so much time and effort to the service. Thankyou ladies!

You are all doing such a wonderful job, and to come up with the the end result looking like that, "it's just outstanding..."

I'd especially like to thank Catherine W for an awesome QUEENSLANDER...... quilt. If it's ok I would like to send her a thankyou email? She left her email address on a beautiful card inside.

Many thanks xx

Obviously I said he was fine to send Cath an email   :-D
.....

Hi Jan-Maree
Dear Sue N,
Thank you so much for my Absolutely Beautiful Quilt!!
It is perfect and I love it. It is lovely to learn a bit about yourself from your letter. I have two cats back home in Sydney - I think I will be in the serious bad books once I finally get home!! I do miss them terribly!
Thanks also for the crossword, I haven't done one of those for years! Even better, I love the Beatles!
Thanks again, I really appreciate your time and effort (and talent!). The quilt will be great in my room over here and brighten things up. All the best to you and your family!

Please find enclosed a shoulder patch for the operation slipper. We wear this on our right arm to show which operation/posting locality we belong.

These will soon be replaced as we are changing things over here soon - This is soon to be a fondly remembered relic of the Australian contribution to the Middle East!
.....



Joan, Robin,

Thanks you for the Laundry bag I received the other day.
In years gone by deployed Australian personnel (Diggers) excitement would build when the word went around that mail had come in from home, their expectation would build while the mail was sorted and the joy they would feel when they received a letter from home must have been wonderful.  Today is no different, the deployed men and women of the ADF still get excited when mail arrives in their location but the difference is we receive care packages, and have the luxury of email and the internet.  The care packages sent by our loved ones and people like you who care about our people overseas are essential to retaining our links with home, maintaining our sanity and it gives us a little bit of normality in what is sometimes a world that is very different to the one back home.
Thank you for the Laundry bag -  for your information I placed it into use yesterday and is currently hanging on the back of the ADF compound's laundry door as my washing rolls around in the washing machine.  As I travel around the Middle Easy be assured that your laundry bag will travel with me. 

Best Regards,
.....


Hello Joan and Robin,


Thank you very much for the laundry bag. It is very thoughtful and really brightened my day, as well as the other guys in the workshop.
It is true I do love coffee and cake and luckily I still can get coffee daily from the mess and occasionally cake as well!
I really do appreciate the bag and it is something I will take with me on all my travels serving with the ADF and beyond.

Kind regards,





.....


Dear Stephanie

        I received one of your fine quilts and laundry bags earlier on in the deployment, unfortunately after reading your card I misplaced it and in doing so lost your e-mail address. I have now since contacted Jan and had her send me your address. I very much wanted to thank you for the effort you went through with creating the quilt for me. It has made a great addition to my rack. I absolutely love it. When every so often I find myself with some spare time on my hands. (Unfortunately doesn't work out as often as I'd like to, but that's life.) You'll find me curled up on the couch wrapped in my new quilt. When you're quilt got delivered to the ship it brought some colour to the world of grey that many of us live out here, and I greatly appreciate it. Your quilt along with the multitude of others helps us remember that there are people out there that care, which is easy to forget sometimes. Thankyou.
.....



Dear Stephanie,

Firstly let me apologise for taking so long to write. The workload  has not let up for a second since your beautiful quilt arrived. 
It is on my bed in my room, and it is so lovely to come home after a long day and see something pretty (that's not green and camouflaged!!) in my room. I cant thank you enough for your beautiful work.
Well, I am currently stationed in Dubai (home to the worlds largest shopping mall!!) , but I have been fortunate enough to have to have been able to work  both here and in Afghanistan on this deployment.
I will sign off as its just about to hit 2100! and I've been at this desk for over 12 hours!! Time to relax for my big day out tomorrow.
Thank you once again and I hope to hear from you soon !



....


Hey Jan-Maree,

Sorry about the lateness of my reply...I have been away a lot over the late two months and the tempo has been exponentially increasing. Most days are 16 - 18 hour days with little to no respite.

I would like to let you know that I did receive my quilt and I am extremely pleased with the result. Its perfect. My favourite bit is the sheepdogs and sheep. You should let those who made it know what an outstanding job they did. It is something I will cherish always.

I really appreciate the work you and your team do and I hope this continues for those who serve wherever and whenever.

With many thanks,



.....



Dear Jan-Maree,

With only a few days left prior to our last port, we closed the USNS Robert E Peary this afternoon to conduct our 13th and last replenishment. It was a very warm affair, however we got all we needed including some mail. I came off the bridge, went down to the flight deck to check out all the stores and noticed that they had mostly been processed, so I went back to my cabin and had a shower, for like most of the crew I was covered in sweat.

When I opened my cabin door, I noticed a couple of parcels; one was marked cookies and one was marked linen & lollies, both from Aussie Hero Quilts. I went straight for the linen box and quickly opened it. As soon as I opened the box I saw the back of a quilt and a lovely letter from yourself. After reading your letter I started to unfold the quilt. I noticed the chocolates and thought oh no, maybe they have melted on the quilt. However I noticed that they were fully contained in their air tight packaging and reflected, '...well Jan-Maree is a professional'.

This is far more that I requested and I feel very overwhelmed with the work involved. The vast majority of my professional life has been spent enjoying the life of a Naval Officer in warships as a member of the crew, or assisting to prepare them work up to deploy. This quilt is a summary of that professional life, all presented beautifully hand crafted.

I am extremely grateful to you, Del, Michele and Kim for their hard work in making this quilt. It is wonderful and something that I will cherish for ever. Additionally, I must thank you and all your many quilters for their hard work and generosity in helping my crew get through their 7 month deployment away from their loved ones. We are truly blessed to have such a great country, however even more blessed to have such great Australians like the Quilters from Aussie Hero Quilts. You are the true heroes!
....



Dear Margaret and the Aussie Hero's sewing group,

Yesterday, with much joy, I received my Aussie Hero's quilt in the mail, and let me say, it looks great!!!!  I already have it on my bed which has made my cabin feel that much more homely.  I am on the warship HMAS DARWIN. We have been deployed to the Arabian Sea operating area for six months now.  Our mission has been to ensure that the maritime environment (the seas) are not used by terrorist organisations.  This has meant that we have spent most of our time up here conducting boardings of the local vessels to see if they are smuggling drugs.  We have been busy in this endeavour, locating and destroying a large quantity of heroin and hashish.  These drugs were being used to fund terrorist organisations in Afghanistan where we have some soldiers stationed. 

I was very interested to learn a little about each of you.  I think the work that you are doing for those serving overseas is fantastic - I certainly really appreciate it.  The quilt that I now have will be one of the lasting positive memories that I have from my time away from home with the navy. 

Thank you all very much for your gift and your support.  Please don't stop doing your great work.

Kind Regards,

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

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