Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Grati-Tuesday 13 February

Last night I attended my RSL Sub Branch Meeting for the first time in months as I have been too busy with Aussie Heroes, sick dogs (even had to have one put down) and travel.  I was delighted when I discovered that we had a guest speaker (a very rare occurrence)  and even more delighted to find it was BRIG Patrick Kidd, CEO of the Invictus Games... and perhaps more exciting.. one of our recipients.   Actually I think I made his quilt but as it was a few years ago, and as I have made a few now, AND as I lost some of my records in the fire, I unfortunately can't be sure.   Regardless I was delighted to speak to him and delighted to discuss both Aussie Heroes and the Invictus Games with him. 

After the meeting I also met another visitor to the branch, a fellow who used to serve with 2 Commando Regiment, and who received one of our quilts in 2015.  Again I have lost those records so I cannot tell you who made his quilt but his face just lit up when my mate Drew asked him if he had received an Aussie Hero Quilts whilst deployed. 

It really never gets old when I meet a recipient and talk to them about Aussie Heroes. It is just lovely to watch their face light up when they talk about their quilts and bags. 
.....

Hey Lindsay,

I received your parcel today and I just wanted to you send a quick message to say thank you and to let you know that it made it here. It’s means a lot to everyone here knowing there are people back home who are thinking of us. Your quilt is amazing and I’m sure it will keep me very warm during the cold nights we have here. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this for me, someone you don’t know and have never met. I think that's quite amazing. Attached is a photo of my bed space with your quilt. Again thank you so much. 


Monika received this photo of one of her very happy recipients

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Good morning Sue N 

Just a quick message to say that I received my amazing quilt that you made today. I am feeling so humbled and blessed that you were able to take my thoughts and words and translate them into a quilt that is uniquely me. I already have the quilt on my bed. My tent buddies loved seeing your work and think that it reflects me perfectly. 

Receiving the quilts is quite the "to do" when anyones arrives. They are all shown off with absolute pride when they are unveiled. Its not uncommon for photos to be shown in the mess to each other if they missed the arrival of a mate's quilt.

Thank you also for the extra goodies that you packed. All completely perfect and so well timed.

I am almost 47 with two sons. One is 27 and in the Navy and the other is doing year 12 this year and wants to join the army when he completes high school. 

Thank you once again for my amazing quilt.  I absolutely love it.

Regards
.....

The following emails were sent to the Crib Point Community House who made a batch of laundry bags and send them off before Christmas.

Hi,

I am Musician XXXXX of Australian Army Band Sydney. My colleagues and I are doing a tour of several bases here in the middle east over the holiday period in support of the troops and staff deployed here. 

At morning tea yesterday i picked up one of your laundry bags made and sent over by your group. Thank you! It's much nicer than the daggy calico one with my initials stenciled on that i was issued!

Thanks for thinking of us over here.

Merry Christmas
.....

Dear Crib Point Community House ladies,
I have just received one of your sought after laundry bags (everyone is after them as keep sakes). 
It is not only very useful but a lovely reminder of home. 
Thank you all for the support and kind gift. 
Warmest regards,
.....

Dear Ladies - Crib Point Community House.

Thank you so very much for the beautifully sewn laundry bag, how precious it is and the hero’s quilts and bags that we receive are a right of passage.

I am a nurse going forward to Kabul, where I hope to do our country proud following in the footsteps of the brave nurses before me!

Thank you for your selfless gifts they really do mean an awful lot to us!

Very kind regards
.....

 To the ladies of Crib Point Community House,


I want to thank you for the laundry bag.  I saw a pile of the laundry bags in the Orderly Room and snaffled one quick smart.
That so many Australians have taken the time, not only think about the deployed members of the ADF, but also give their time to produce these laundry bags is indeed humbling.
I have already put my laundry bag to good use. 



.....

Hi Clarissa,

What a stunning laundry bag, I cannot get over the work that has gone into it.  It is now a very treasured item, and it will remind me of my time here.  The teacup print is just perfect, along with vintage buttons.  I am most grateful.

How are your quilts coming along?  I read the dispatches weekly to see what’s up and coming, it is so wonderful to see the array of work.

At the moment, life is like groundhog day as we work daily to keep it all going here in HQ.  From this, time is flying by.  I really enjoy the work, so it is going well.

Thank you again
.....

Dearest Mae,

Thank you very much for my beautiful laundry bag and goodies in your care package.  It was certainly the highlight of my day to receive such a gift in the mail!

I would like to thank you for your generosity, time and effort to our community – not just the Aussie Hero Quilts but the hospital too.  It is so reassuring and heartwarming to know that there are such wonderful people, like yourself that exist in the world!

A little bit about me.  I am 30 years old and I am a Pharmacist in the Army.  I really enjoy my job, although there are times when it can be a challenge (but I do love a good challenge!)  I have been a Pharmacist for six years, however, I started working in Pharmacy when I was 14 years old.  It was my first part time job as a teenager, and I was initially employed as a coffee girl and assistant.  That’s when I knew I wanted to do Pharmacy.  I eventually learnt how to dispense and helped my boss as the sole pharmacy assistant on weekends.  I then went to uni – and now, here I am!  My main interests include fitness and health, food (all the food!  Especially sweets and chocolates) and reading.

I think the best part of my job – apart from the amazing people I meet and experiences, is that it allows you to remain humble and go back to basics in a world that can be chaotic.  It really is the little simple things that make life great.

Thank you again for your laundry bag and goodies.  I don’t think this card will reach you by Christmas, but if it does, Merry Christmas.  If not – I hope you had an amazing day!

Much love,
.....

 Hi Ruth,


I received my laundry bag this morning and I can assure you I love it just as much as you did making it !

The bag looks amazing and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to make me something as amazing as what you have.

Have a wonderful day, you've certainly made mine :)
.....

Hi Melissa and family,

Just wanted to say a massive thank you to the quilt and laundry bag you sent over. My Dad and brother are both massive fans of the doggies too so can’t wait to show them. I remember reading about your kids, they sound very passionate about what they do, I also did cadets for a bit so good luck to your son on his career within the cadets and with the Defence force if he joins, it’s a great but tough job he’ll make some of the best mates in his life.  Lastly good luck to your other children in their basketball sounds like they’ll be pros on tv soon. 

.....

Irene received this awesome photo from one of her happy recipients. 


.....

Hello, Philomena

Thank you so much for my quilt, I've used it as a big curtain above my bed and when its very cold, an extra blanket!  Its great your from Sydney.  I grew up on the northern beaches before I joined the army and was posted to  QLD.  Im currently in Afghanistan and will be for quite a while still.
.....

Hello Debbie.

I would like to begin by saying thank you greatly for your quilt! It far surpassed any expectations that I had of receiving such a marvelous gift. I can’t wipe the smile off my face every time I go to bed of an evening and the quilt is on my rack.   

I am a member of HMAS Warramunga and serve as a Marine Technician also known as a stoker (mechanic)  we are currently on Op Manitou. Hopefully when we get alongside again I will be able to sort out sending through a photo of myself with the greatest quilt that the Fleet has ever seen. My opinion may be bias granted however I will fight tooth and nail defending that claim.

During my time off work I love getting outside and traveling as much as I can, before my deployment started I crossed the Simpson desert with my best friend. As  child growing up my brothers and I always loved getting a good laugh from the outdoors man himself Russel Coight, so the quilt you have made me holds a very special spot in my heart. I can’t  wait to get back to Australia and continuing camping around the country and taking my new quilt everywhere I go with me.
  
Thankyou sincerely again for you kindness and generosity.  
....

Clarissa

From the bottom of my heart thank you for what you do and continue too do.
Thankyou for my hero quilt bag and lollies, funny how the world works. You don't know me but M&M'S are my favorites. 
I also had relatives serve in previous wars.
I have served for 24 years with August this year being 25.
I am a proud dad of three wonderful children.
My eldest son is serving in the Army in Brisbane. My eldest daughter is in her final year of nursing at UNE and my youngest daughter is in year 8.
My wife is the rock of the family who keeps us moving forward.

Again thank you for you efforts in what you and your great bunch of Aussie ladies do.
.....

Dear Clarissa,

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I received your kind words and laundry bag this week.  I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to you and all other volunteers that take the time and effort in making the quilts and bags.  I’m always interested to see in the laundry room who is sporting what design or theme – there is no shortage in creativity from all of you, and I’m very pleased with what you have sent!

I was aware of Aussie Hero Quilts, there are posters and advertising (for want of a better term) strewn over the camp on notice boards sharing news and information about your great organisation.  Your efforts do not go unnoticed.

The Christmas period was a busy one over here, along with the quilts and bags we received (I’m told) about 26,000 Christmas care packages from the generous Aussie public.  Your collective support is outstanding and goes a long way to the morale for all serving in the region.

Best wishes for 2018 and thanks again.

Sincerely,
..... 

Dear Clarissa,

Thank you Clarissa for the wonderful laundry bag you made for me, and I wish to thank you for the amazing generous talented gesture.  An Army girlfriend who I coached in cycling a few years ago organised the laundry bag for me.  The bag is so beautiful and it has captured my personality in every way possible.  And, it has arrived in time for Christmas and winter!

I am a single mother of three teenagers, and this is the first time in over ten years I have been away from my children for this length of time.  I have been in the Australian Defence Force for over 25 years working in Logistics.  Whilst it is hard being away from family and friends, especially over holidays and family occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, we have very good support and activities planned that allow us to look after each other and keep morale high.  I recently adopted a Pomeranian dog who had been abused during his first seven years.  In my spare time I like to ride.  Cycling has played a massive part of my life over the past 10 years, with many kilometres riding on the road or mountain trails and coaching women in mountain biking in Canberra and the Blue Mountains, Sydney.

I am currently serving with the Royal Australian Air Force in the Middle East Region and am deployed as part of the Air Task Group on Operation OKRA.  We live in tents and the hike to the nearest laundry can be frustrating!  The bag is perfect for this dreary task.  

I manage a small team who is responsible for maintaining logistics governance, aircraft spare part demands and logistics support to the Squadrons within the Air Task Group.

Thank you so much again for the laundry bag and for your continued support to all the men and women serving in Operations for the ADF.

......

Dear Clarissa,

Thank you for your wonderful care package, it was just fabulous to receive.  I do know a lot about AHQ and laundry bags as I have had the pleasure of attending the annual Canberra event last year and met many quilters, like yourself.

I am the finance officer here, and I see everyone who passes through Afghanistan, it is a job that is very enriching and rewarding.  I am sure your son visited the “Cashie” once or twice whilst he was deployed.  I am the keeper of lollies and other treats and take great pleasure in sharing them out to all.

Thanks again and kind regards,
......

Dear Sue,

       Your quilt was placed straight onto my bed and has not only made my room so much nicer, bright and enjoyable, but has also kept me warm during some of the cooler nights we have here. I also don't feel like my room looks like a prison cell anymore!
      I'm an Air Traffic Controller. My 2 year old daughter is are back there sweltering through the NT wet season at the moment. Her Birthday was on the 5th October and was a fishy party, hence the theme that I requested at the time. All my skype sessions were about fishes and turtles, and Nemo and Dory. and I think she will love the mermaids you put on it. 

      I will be heading to XXXX when I return, with my family. Returning to civilisation after 4 years in the NT. We are looking forward to being closer to family and friends.

     I think it is amazing thing you ladies do at Aussie Hero Quilts. Your gifts definitely bring smiles to faces, Stimulate conversation, and help people survive.
    Thanks 
.....


To Dear Bridget,

Thank you so very much for the absolutely gorgeous quilt.  I was stunned at the how perfect it was as I adore poppies, and the logo’s and soldier were just amazing.

I am now near the end of my tour and have had the most rewarding experiences over here, it may sound strange but this is the time we get to do what we train for.  I am a communications officer within special operations and so my role here has been quite unique.

I look forward to getting home to family and friends, although I know the weather will be different and it will take time to adjust.

Thank you again, this quilt will be a heirloom and treasured by my family when I get home.


Thanks,
.....

Hi Ellen, 

Just a quick email to let you know I have received my beautiful quilt. 

Thank you so much! I love it and I think all the words you have included throughout are so clever. Quilting is quite special to me, as my Mum is a quilter herself. 

It is lovely to hear about your travel plans, as my partner and I also love camping. He has actually just built our new camper trailer while I have been away, so when I come home I have that to look forward to. We are planning to take a year off (eventually) and travel around Australia. 

Thank you again for my quilt, I really appreciate the time and effort that has been put into it. It really means a lot to know that people are thinking of us over here. 

My very best to you and your family... and happy travelling !! 

Kind regards, 
.....

What a great array of messages.   We might not hear back from every quilt and laundry bag we send off but I hope when you read these messages you know how much your efforts are appreciated. 

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

Jan-Maree  xx

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