Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Grati-Tuesday 18 August

Hi all.

Some great messages to share tonight. 


Dear Sue,
I’m the grateful recipient of a laundry bag that you made for me. I am an Air Force Officer, who is currently deployed to Juba, South Sudan. I work in the Joint Operations Centre of the United Nations here, which involves coordinating UN operations around South Sudan. The country, I’m sad to say, is in a fairly dire state. There is consistent violence and crime, with very regular human rights abuses and poor governance. At the UN Base where I work, a little over 30 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) reside in temporary shelters made of sheet plastic, some tin sheeting and bamboo. Despite this fact, I have found the residents of the camp to be very friendly. Particularly the children, who seem intent on following the ‘Khwaja’ (white people) around the camp and love having their photos taken. It was in this camp where I took the attached photo. You can see that I’m a little distracted by the child wanting a chat on my right. So sorry for the poor photo, but at least there’s proof that your handiwork has made it all the way to Africa (about 13 000km)!

It means a lot to me, and to the other recipients of the laundry bags here, to know that Australians back home are keeping us in their thoughts. And on a practical level - I did not think to bring a laundry bag, so it has been invaluable in helping me drag my (often smelly) clothes across to the washing machine.

Thank you again, and I wish you all the very best.

Yours sincerely and gratefully,


Dear Leanne,

Firstly I would like to apologise for taking so long to response to your letter and secondly acknowledge my appreciation for the most superb quilt that you have made me.

 As you can see the room needed some colour and I can't think of a better colour than brown and gold. I still can't get over the detail in the Hawks logo. I have been a keen Hawks supporter since I can remember - spent my younger days growing up in Melbourne before moving to Deniliquin, country NSW.

I joined the Army after finishing high school and have just completed 25 years - not sure if I do another 25 years - might get a little too old to keep up with the younger soldiers. However I am still enjoying Army life and the challenges it brings with it. OP ACCORDIAN is my second deployment with my first one being OP WARDEN to East Timor in 1999.
I only have a couple more weeks left in AMAB, UAE, prior to coming home. Tomorrow will mark 6 months since I left Australia - a long time to spend away from your wife and family.

I would like to thank you again for the lovely quilt that you made me and would also like to thank all the girls (and there may be some guys) who made quilts for the troops over here. I haven't seen a bad one and each one unique (only found the number label on the back of mine the other day). Everyone displays their quilt with pride - some on beds , some hanging on walls. Although it is 40 plus outside, it can get quite chilly in the rooms with the A/C on so I keep mine on my bed - plus it looks great. Still trying to convince the wife to have it on our bed when I return (she is a Brisbane Lions supporter).

My wife made a quilt once (took forever) and therefore I understand the time and effort that goes into making one - not forgetting the cost as well.

So thank-you from the bottom of my heart - hope the Soldier-On auction goes well in Canberra - if the quilt you made is half as good as mine it will go for a small fortune.
Hope you all the happiness in the world and please continue your great work in supporting the troops over here as it truly means the world to them that their efforts and sacrifice is appreciated. 



I hope this email finds you well. I'm currently serving overseas with the Australian Army. I have recently been given your laundry bag for use whilst I'm overseas. It is with great pleasure that I thank you for your contribution and the support you have given to Australian troops. We appreciate all the time and effort your local community has put in supporting Australian Forces deployed overseas.  I hope that you continue to support Australian Soldiers in the future.



Hi Cheri,

Thank you for the quilt it is beautiful! I love the Drunkard's Path it's really interesting. It's really nice to walk into my room and see some colour!

Thank your husband for his service over the years! He has helped pave the way for me and who I work with and I greatly appreciate what he's done!

Thank you so much!

(Note - for those that do not know..... the Drunkard's Path is the name of the block in the quilt mentioned and pictured above.  :-D  it is like a square with a quarter circle in one corner and different arrangements give different effects.


Hi Jo,

Firstly WOW! 

Thank you for your time and efforts in producing such a fine quality quilt. It now has pride of place on my bed here.

I can speak for all the soldiers here that we really appreciate what yourself and the other volunteers put together for us. It's a wonderful gesture and gives the blokes a sense of pride that their efforts are noted and that people such as yourself are taking the time to show your appreciation of those efforts by producing these wonderful quilts.

I know mine will be a treasured reminder of my time here and of the support we have back in Australia.

Keep up the fine work and thanks again.

Hello Jan,

I have received the quilt made by you lovely ladies. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. It can get busy here sometimes.

My wife and I thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. The quilt and laundry bag are absolutely amazing. The quilt is exceptional.

I have taken photos and sent them to my wife, but the photo does not fully capture how wonderful they are.

Again, thank you so much for all you have done for us. We appreciate it so much.

All the best,

Dear Joan & Robin,

Thank you so very much for my laundry bag. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for everything that you do for us Defence personnel. My laundry bag is just beautiful and I love it so much. I will honestly cherish it forever, it will definitely with with me on my future Exercises and deployments.

I really appreciated what yu do. You have no idea how special and happy we all are when we receive our laundry bags and quilts so once again that you so much.

Take care

Dear Carmel

I am currently serving in the Australian Army as a Medic. Currently we are deployed in the MER which has been such a great honour and privilege. I just wanted to email you and tell you how grateful I am to receive one of your care packages.   

Thank you so much for the Laundry bag you created for me. It was such a lovely surprise to open and see a beautifully designed bag that I will use for a very long time. It is a really nice feeling when we receive gifts in the mail, it boosts the morale in a place like this. 

The picture on the card is absolutely amazing!! I've shown so many people I work with and they say nothing but great things.

Once again Carmel, Thank you so very much. 


I'd like to thank you for taking to time to make my the quilt for me, It definitely put a smile on my face and improved my day :)  My wife is also a very occasional quilter and I have seen how much work goes into them!

Thank you very much for taking the time to make me the quilt and write me a letter, its nice to know that people appreciate the work we do over here

Yours sincerely 

Dear Janis

First of all I want to thank you sincerely for the awesome laundry bag that you made for me! I was taken aback when I saw that you had personalised it with my initials too! My workmates here are a bit jealous. I will try to get a picture in the coming weeks and I’ll email it through to you.

I think you live in a beautiful part of Australia! Great win too J. You are probably wearing a jumper today whereas it reached 46 degrees today here and it is currently around 34 degrees outside at 2030h. We have air con in our rooms though, thankfully.

Well, I better wrap this letter up and get it in the post. Please send my regards to your hubby and your (grown-up) kids too. Thanks again for your quilting skills and motivation to get involved with Aussie Hero Quilts. It is a memento that I will keep for years to come and it will remind me of your support and gratitude for the job we are doing here.

Hi Pennie,

I hope this finds you well. I'm writing to say thank you for the wonderful laundry bag you clearly spent hours on. I love the nautical theme and my big bright initials on top.

You clearly are a talented seamstress to have sewn all this in such a perfect manner and know that your bag is already been put to good use.

And while I thank you for this gift again know that the honour is all mine. My mother was a nurse all her life and often worked in the emergency ward. At the end of the day you are as greater hero as anyone else. I know how hard nurses work, often for limited pay but the work you guys do is amazing. As patriotic and life altering as the work we do over here. I would return your much loved gift with a bag of my own but trust me when I say you would not want to see me try and sew. It would fall apart before reaching you.

Thank you again and take care Pennie

Very respectfully,


Hello Janine 

It was pleasantly surprising when one of my soldiers handed your laundry bag to me today. I put my name on the list couple of months ago and almost forgot about all of it. Thank you for the laundry bag!

It's about mid afternoon in Iraq right now. We had a "cold front" yesterday, so the temperature dropped from mid 50 to low 40 degree today. It's just little over half way of my tour, the experience was excellent. I am an Infantry Platoon Commander with approximately 40 soldiers under my command. Days can get really busy and full on sometimes. 

Reading your letter gave me great joy, felt like fresh air from the outside world and back home.  I am originally from Sydney and both of my parents still live there. I have Chinese heritage and am very close to my family. I don't have partner at the moment. Military life can be quite hard on personal relationship but I enjoy the freedom at the same time. 

Thank you again for your time and the lovely laundry bag. It means a lot not only for myself but also for my men ( lot of them received the gift from AHQ too)

Best wish 

Dear Jean 

Many thanks for the time and effort you have put into making my Laundry Bag, by the way not a dirty piece of linen will ever go near it!! 

It will be framed and hung in a place of honor befitting its status, as you can tell I am a very proud Welshman who moved to Aus in 2007 after serving 22 years in the British Army. 

So now my total service adds up to 30 years, six in total, of which I have been deployed in many locations across the world usually for 4-6 months at a time. 

Thanks again Jean, you people are a credit to the Australian spirit, of which I am very proud to serve. 

As we say in Wales: 

Diolch yn fawr!!

All the best to you and yours,,


Donna & Chris,

I received one of your Hero Quilts and Laundry bag. Let me start by saying, they are both incredible! The box of goodies was a great reminder of home.

I would like to thank both of you for your kind generosity. It means the world to Australian's serving overseas to know we are closer to home than we think.

Many of my airmen and airwomen have received Hero Quilts made by you and others like you from around Australia. They do more for morale than you could imagine. Mine will be put on display in my home for all to see. It will serve as a great reminder that Australian's look out for one another. We certainly do a better job at it than most. Your wonderful gift epitomises this.

Your contribution is significant and certainly appreciated by all those deployed.

Hi Joan,

Thanks for the fantastic laundry bag and the happiness kit. Firstly I must say thank you for you and your teams efforts with providing this service to the serving members of the ADF. We do greatly appreciate the support that your organisation gives and I have seen over the past six months the joy that your special gifts bring to our guys and girls, they remind us that home is not too far away. 

I had a huge smile when I opened the package from you. The first thing was the laundry bag, it made my boss cracked a sad because he is from Cairns and was told they didn't have anything from Cairns left so being a good Aussie I rubbed some more salt into his wound. The second thing was the happiness kits, which I think is brilliant. I will take great pride in showing that to the Americans here to try and expand their sense of humour.

If you are ever up in Tindal please call into 75SQN for a cuppa.

Thanks again

Hi Sophie,

I recently received a package from you containing a beautiful laundry bag as well as a few goodies. I just wanted to pass on my sincere thanks for the package, it was a lovely surprise and really brightened my day. I absolutely love the laundry bag and it is being used frequently. I will admit there were a number of people quite envious! 

As you know I am currently serving overseas, and whilst I cannot provide specific details, the weather is amazingly hot! We reached 50C again this week, and let me tell you I have never experienced temps like this before, so the air-conditioning provides welcomed relief. Ironically I am on the move early next year as my husband and I have received notification of a posting to Canberra. So I suspect that this time next year I will be grumbling about the low temps that you mentioned in your letter! 

Again, I just wanted to pass on my deepest gratitude for the time and effort that the volunteers provide from Aussie Hero Quilts. I am truly touched by the gesture and my laundry bag  will stay with me forever. 

I wish you and your family well.

Take care,

G'day Robyn!

Just wanted to take the time to write and say Thankyou so much for my Laundry bag! You've absolutely nailed the Sharks logo and it's exactly what I was after! You guessed very rightly too - a Shire boy born and bred who loves the beach, being outdoors and all types of sports! Hopefully this supports the Sharks for the rest of the year!

Glad to hear you've been involved with the charity and I assure you everyone who receives these bags are greatly appreciative of your time and effort to make them!

Hope the Weather where you are is great and it's not too cold this winter. I look forward to getting home in December for a great Aussie summer..so fingers crossed!!

Thankyou so much again and hope you have a great weekend!


Hi Irene,

I wanted to say a quick thank you very much for the tremendous effort you have gone to in making my quilt cover.

It is taking pride of place in my room and I have proudly showed it off to all the crew.

Thanks again for the effort I greatly appreciated it and will ensure it travels back with me on my next deployment.

Take care,

Dear Sandy,

I would like to give you a massive Thank you, which is not enough. When I first put forward my idea for a quilt, I thought I may have come across as 'high maintenance’. I probably did!
Anyway my hat goes off to you because it looks great and is being used daily. I took a couple of pictures and showed my family during my mid-tour leave in UK. They were really impressed because of how good it looks, but also because it will always be relevant to me.

I didn't realise that the quest to obtain the correct tartan would cause you an additional amount of work and effort (which I apologise for). But as you mention in your letter, and I agree, it was worth it.  The additional detail of the thistles is a lovely touch.

South Sudan is very demanding, not like Iraq, but in a different way. Quite sad when considering what is happening to this country. The quilt you have made and very kindly spent your valuable time on serves as inspiration and makes my life so much easier.

Although my wife and I speak with broad Yorkshire accents she also had a grandmother from the MacDonald clan, albeit Irish - they're all the same at heart!

Yours Sincerely,
A very proud and humble quilt owner,

Hello Jean,

Thank you so much for the laundry bag! It really did make me smile :) You are very talented and creative.

I am an Intensive Care Unit Nursing Officer and this is my first deployment. We have set up a new hospital here which has been a great experience. We provide health support to the Australian, N.Z., U.S. and Spanish soldiers as best we can. 

It is very dusty and hot here with only a few stray animals to look at. Hopefully, one day, I will get to visit Africa and see the beautiful wildlife for myself. I am lucky enough to have travelled to all sorts of countries including Borneo where I went to visit the orangatang sanctuary. They are amazing creatures! 

Thank you again for the bag and the smile.



Good morning Helen,

Today I was very fortunate to receive a beautiful hand crafted laundry bag.

I am a big fan on the selection of material used. It’s very Australian and shows our true colour. It will be used with great pride.

I will like to send many thank you for your hard work and dedication.

The Soldiers and there spouses really appreciated the work Aussie heroes is doing.

Again many thank you


Dear Glenda,

I can't thank you enough for the most wonderful quilt, I just received it and it definitely made my day. I almost didn't receive it until later in the trip, but we don't sail from Dubai until Wednesday which meant we got another bag of mail. Once again thank you for the time and effort you put into the quilt and it will most certainly come with me on every ship I work on. Once I get a chance I will send a picture.


Till next time...........keep spreading the word and happy stitching!
Jan-Maree xx

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