Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Grati-Tuesday 6 Feb

Lots of great messages today. First though a very big thanks to Sandy W way up there is Charleville. Every time I receive a letter than needs transcribing I shoot them up to Sandy and she jumps on the keyboard and fingers flying, types them up for me and sends them back to me for editing! I could not do it without her! So huge thanks Sandy! You're the best
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Dear Kate

I am speechless. I received the laundry bag a week ago and the parcel said 1 of 2. I opened the laundry bag and the goodies (they went down a treat x), I was busy running around showing off my bag still not knowing what the quilt would be, however, I did presume that they would be of similar styles. How wrong was I!!  I received the 2nd parcel and yet again I was blown away. The detail in each part of the quilt is amazing. I absolutely loved the stags (a proper Monarch of the Glen), the thistles are so detailed along with the rising sun. You have really put thought into it. I’m sure every nationality over here has seen it (British, Americans, ANZACs). I too have the Monarch of the Glen hung on my wall at home, as does my Daddy and my Brother. The Monarch is fondly named “Hector” in the Highlands, and is also represented in the Military Cap Badge of the Queens Own Highlanders (my regimental family back home). Hector is a Royal Stag (a 12 pointer - count the points on his antlers). It is against the law to kill a 12 pointer as they are classed as the Royal Stag  (hence MONARCH)- a wee bit of Scottish history for you.  

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Dear Ruth,

Thank you so very much for the beautiful Laundry Bag that you have made.  Your choice of panels for the bag is uncanny, as I have only just recently returned from a tour of Luxor, where I got to see the Valley of the Kings, and the tombs of the Nefertari and King Tut. This bag will hold incredible memories for years to come.  Thank you again for the laundry bag, your craftmanship is amazing.

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G'Day Bridget,
I was thrilled to receive your lovingly crafted quilt the other day, thank you. As I lifted the quilt from the box with the back facing me the bag of snakes fell to the floor - these are favourites of my daughters and brought back many happy memories, they also didn't last very long :-)
I love the design!  You have captured the significant factors in my deployment with my family, country, Air Force, trade and UAE represented. I realise that some of the images would have been a challenge to incorporate into the quilt, so well done :-)
The very first night I had your quilt I put it to good use. I sincerely had one of the best nights sleep I have had since being here. It was like a sleepover at your grandparents with an excess of blankets weighing you down, tucked in tight and keeping you snuggly and warm - perfect!
It was interesting to read about Jan-Maree's inspiration for starting AHQ. A bit of an anecdote regarding the treatment of serving members from early last year:
I was on my way home from work and decided to pick up a 6 pack of beer and a nice bottle of wine for my wife. I had selected the wine (red) and went to get the beer. My favourite drop was on special meaning I needed to spend a little more than I intended, but I was going to get twice the amount of beer for very little extra outlay. When I got to the checkout I had miscalculated what the total would be and was a few dollars short. I was about to return the beer to the shelf when a Tradie behind me offered to pay for all my drinks not just pickup the few dollars I was missing. He thanked me for my service and I was on my way. I have done over 30 years in the RAAF and genuine thanks from the people we protect is a very lovely and rewarding gesture.

Keep up the great 'work' at AHQ.
Take Care
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Dearest Sandra,

I cannot possibly understate the amount of gratitude I have for you and your craft in creating my personalised quilt and laundry bag.  I have to admit that part of the delay in replying to you was because I was not sure how to convey thanks for your touching words and tangible gesture of kindness.  I will say in no uncertain terms, that I was and still presently am, speechless.  Thank you.

Well, where did my military adventure begin?  More so by accident than by intention.  I was on track to study Law/Commerce in Sydney when I realised that I would need a laptop for my future studies.  After a bit of research, I noticed that an institution called the Australian Defence Force Academy was offering a laptop for those who successfully completed the requirement for their Education Award.  A couple of interviews, a fitness test and a paperwork mishap later, I somehow found myself on the bus to Canberra to start four years studying Aeronautical Engineering.  I never did get that laptop either.

By the time this letter gets to you, Christmas will be well and truly over and the first couple of days of 2018 will have flown past.  I sincerely hope that your husband was home for the festive season, and that your family managed to spend some quality time together over the break.

Please continue the great work you’re doing; there’s a soldier, sailor or airman out on deployment who I would rather not deprive of such excellent handiwork and is far more deserving than I.

Wishing you and your family a delightful and prosperous 2018.

With deepest regards,

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Lynne B,

Thank you so much for the amazing quilt and laundry bag.  They have equal pride of place in my room next to a photo of my wife, puppy and 4 month old son.

Home for me is Qld.  We had a baby and bought a house there in the couple of months before I came here to the Middle East.  A busy couple of months for sure!
I also have a dog, he is a 4 year old Great Dane X Boxer.  I am quite confident he is the worlds most pathetic and cuddly dog, despite his size.

Thank you for the lovely reminder of home again.
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Dear Sandy C,

Words fail me to express my sincere appreciation and admiration of your work, and the truly amazing Aussie Hero Quilt which you have made and sent me.  It is very evident from the quilt that you are both very gifted and passionate about the art.

Your quilt arrived here just at the end of last week after some reasonably challenging issues with which I have been dealing with.  I am about a third of my way through the deployment, and whilst it has now become a rhythmic routine of days, there are days which present their various challenges.  It is really nice to be distracted by something totally unexpected.  The arrival of your quilt was one of those moments that was wonderful, timely, and really welcome.

You have perfectly captured all I could have hoped for in the opus.  My colleagues who have seen it, either physically or the picture that I have taken of the quilt, all are of the view that it expresses me absolutely.  My role here is to coordinate the chaplaincy and philanthropic team, and provide the suite of chaplaincy support to the areas that do not have a chaplain in location.  I have deployed on previous occasions, with mostly infantry battalions, so this is a very different deployment for me, a role which I am learning from and enjoying greatly.

Thank you again for your wonderful gift.  I definitely value it, and I look forward to showing the quilt to a number of ladies in our home church  upon my return.  I believe that there are a number of quilters in their midst.

I wish you and your studio every blessing ant thank you for our and your quilter friends for your participation in Aussie Hero Quilts.

With the blessing of Christ to be upon you.
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Dear Bridget,

Firstly, I’d like to thank yourself and everyone who works at Aussie Hero quilts, a small gesture goes a long way.  Please pass this thanks on to all the ladies who made this quilt; Cheri, Melissa, Kerry and Marcelle.  These quilts will be a great reminder of the time spent over in the Middle East, and have arrived at a great time too.  It’s just started snowing and gets down to minus 4 degrees Celsius in the mornings.

As for myself, I am a part of a rifle section consisting of 8 people.  We provide personal security to Australian mentors embedded within the Train Assist Advise Command – Air Headquarters.  They advise their Afghan counterparts in the Afghanistan Air Force and are helping build a functional Air Force in Afghanistan.

Thank you again for your support and know we use the quilts every night.
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Hi Pennie,

I appreciate all the hard work you went through to create my laundry bag; I was so excited when I saw it.
A couple of us are Game of Thrones freaks and when they saw the bag they were like, whoa where did you get it from?
After seeing all the work you have put into it, I don’t know what to say.  I thank you so much and I’m sure everyone else who receives them would say how thankful they are as well.
I’m surprised you fit all the houses of the show on the bag, and the writing on the back which says: ‘for the night is dark and full of terrors’, made me laugh as I always say it at work.
I’ll be keeping this forever, and hopefully use it every day.

Sorry for the late reply, I wanted to write earlier but I went on holidays to Thailand.  Now that I’m back, I still have 4 months of deployment until I get back to Australia.

Once again, I would like to thank you for creating my laundry bag, a lot of the guys over here have them and they look awesome.  Thank you!

Kind regards,
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Dear Helen and Pat,

Thank you so very much for my amazing quilt!!  It is beautiful.  I opened the box and held it up in my room and my room mates and I all sais ‘WOW!’
I turned it over, ran my hands over it and took in all the detail.  It’s stunning, thank you both so very much.

I have had a look at your facebook page and website, you are very talented.  I will treasure my quilt.

I am very much looking forward to getting home and having some much needed rest and relaxation with my loved ones.

Once again, thank you both so very much, the quilt will be cherished.
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For Jo B

Thanks alot for the quilt it's amazing, reminds of the quilts my mother made me when I was young. Keep up the amazing work everyone is jealous of it!

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Good Morning Georgina! 

I would like to thank you for the amazing quilt that you have made for me! Here at OKRA we are predominately 1SQN members with only 10% 6SQN members, and let me tell you I was the envy of all my 6SQN comrades when they gazed upon the beauty of the 6SQN motto on the quilt. I couldn't thank you enough for this precious gift and the support of you and your family. We all appreciate it!! Have a great day! You've made mine!! 


Kind regards, 

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Hi Georgina, 

Thank you so much for the quilt you have sent me, I really appreciate the time and effort you have put in to create a very good quilt. I'm very happy with the end result, you have achieved everything I requested and added a little more. 

Thank you, 

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Hi Georgina 
I had the pleasure of receiving a quilt from you while on my deployment on HMAS Newcastle. I apologise that I did not email sooner, I can see that you and you son put a lot of effort into making this, and you deserve better. 

I love the quilt you have made me it's exactly what I wanted. 

Once again thank you for the quilt and also thank you for the letter you sent, the words you wrote helped a lot this is my first trip away with the navy and at the time I was missing my family and my girlfriend a lot, I still do but it has become a normal thing. 

I hope you and your family are doing well 

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Hi Georgina,

I got your quilt in the post this week. Thank you it’s fantastic! I equally enjoyed your letter and it made me laugh. I’ll send it home to my wife so she can read it too.

You might be surprised to know that I’m a deployed scientist working closely with those in uniform. I share my workspace with another and we travel around a bit.    I can’t begin to imagine just how much work goes into making one of these quilt but I assume it’s a lot.

You needn’t be worried about how the Sturt desert pea flowers came out; I think you pegged them just right. In case you didn’t know it’s the state flower of SA. The ranges came out too and thanks also to your niece for chipping in.

It sounds like you might have to find your way over to the Flinders Ranges someday. I think you’d like them .. just try to avoid summer 😊

Cheers and thanks again! 

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Dear Georgina,

It is without a doubt that I am truly blessed to say thank you!

I’m sitting at my desk, my quilt spread over my bed adding the most amazing touch of colour and warmth to my very little home away from home bed single room.  I’m trying to figure out just how I’m going to put my appreciation for your lovely gift into words.  I’m so glad you chose my name and chose my silly little interest/hobby.  Receiving your letter and my quilt will without a doubt be one of the highlights of my deployment.  This is my first deployment overseas with the RAAF as a Medic.

First, a few things about me; I joined the RAAF in my mid 20’s as a Medic.  I am one of three, and a twin to top it off.  I grew up on a farm in South East Victoria, where it also gets very cold during the winter.  As you can see from my photo, I am also blessed with lovely red hair.  So while this letter comes from somewhere in the Middle East, I wear a lot of sun cream J It’s getting very hot here, some days are well over 40 degrees.

I am grateful to hear that in making my wonderful quilt, it has given your boys (no matter their age) a reason to pause and reflect, and although I am away from my home, missing my family, friends and partner, receiving a gift made with such wonderful care and appreciation really makes some of the sacrifice worth it.

I can’t thank you enough for my quilt.  Our mail comes only once or twice a week and whenever someone spots the Aussie Hero Quilts logo everyone available will gather around to watch in anticipation on what lays within.  Let me please make this very clear point……Quilt envy is a very real thing!!! It exists.
And you “Georgina of the K Family” have just taken out first prize by a landslide win of gleeful amazement and wonder.  I’ve even had workmates who have been away come and ask if they can see my quilt.

Please pass on my thanks to your boys also and let them know that age is just a number, I am actually over 30 (just!) J

Again I am so truly thankful and blessed to have had you choose my name and request.  Thank you for your prayers, and thank you so much Georgina for your time and service in bringing smiles to all us while we are away.

Many kind thanks and a hugs

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Dear Bridget,

Thank you so much for the quilt you made for me, it was much more than I expected.  The workmanship and the time that has gone into it is nothing less than amazing and way more than I expected.  The colours, the design, the various flags and the patches are perfect.  I can’t tell you how much this means to me, and I will certainly cherish it for years to come.  It will serve as a reminder to me of my deployment here to Afghanistan and will give me something that I will be proud to pass on to my children and grand-children.

I am soon to be heading home after a six month deployment advising and building an Afghan Air Force so that it can look after itself and defend its own country.  Generally the work is rewarding but can also be frustrating at times.  

Whilst the conditions here are not too bad, rather civilized in fact, we are still far away from our families and live day to day in a dangerous place.  Whenever we travel we have to wear body armour and carry weapons.  We have body guards who are trained to get between us and the danger that exists.  

My family consists of a wife and three grown daughters and two grand-sons.  With my children being adults and me having been married for nearly thirty years, I was expecting not to be missing them as much as I do.  They understand why I am here I think (although perhaps my six year old grand-son not quite so much).

Once again Bridget, thank you for your efforts, you can be rest assured that they are very well appreciated, you certainly have a wonderful talent.

Warm regards,

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Hi Sandy C,

                Thank you very much to you and the volunteers for making my Collingwood Magpies football team themed quilt. I am absolutely overwhelmed with the quilt and I love it. I come from Victoria and the banding on the front with the iconic Melbourne prints have blown me away.

I am a Marine Technician on the ship and my primary role is ensuring that the air conditioning systems keep the ship cool and the fridges/freezer on board keep all of our food stores cold and frozen. I also maintain and operate the main propulsion engines which we need to move our floating home through the water. It is a very tiring job at times however I enjoy the challenge.

I am truly humble to read your kind words and cherish your support. We believe we are making a difference in the Middle East and helping those that live in countries that are less fortunate to ours.

Please pass onto the BOM volunteers, Jo R, Marj H and Lynne V that I love the quilt and that it keeps me warm at night.

Thank you again for your support,

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Hi Jean,

Thank you so much for the lovely laundry bag!  I really love the beautifully crafted laundry bag with my initials, the RAEME colours and the skippy.  It definitely made my washing day a bit more fun!  The laundry bags and quilts from Aussie Heroes are a morale booster indeed to us for being looked after by fellow Australians.

You would be pleased to know that we are very well looked after so far on our deployment in the Middle East.  It is hard being away from families and friends yet we are very proud to have this opportunity to serve our country and the higher cause.  Australian soldiers are highly respected in the Middle East for their professionalism and high standards in nearly every aspect of the military lifestyle.  We also strive to help everyone here regardless of country, religion, gender or race whilst aiming to achieve the ADF Mission in the Middle East.

It’s great to know about you and that you love travelling whilst experiencing the different cultures, regions, fauna and flora.  I personally think it’s the best way to appreciate life and the world that we live in.

I was born and brought up in India and came to Australia to pursue a Masters in Engineering when I was 22. I finished my Masters and later worked as a Project Engineer in Melbourne until I decided to join the Army.  I love being in the Army for the fantastic lifestyle and vast experience it provides me, along with making so many friends along the way.  

I highly appreciate your fantastic effort in making this lovely laundry bag for me.  I hereby wish you, your family and your friends a very successful life ahead and blessings for your future endeavours.  
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Dear Skye,
You made a laundry bag for me last year. It arrived just after New Year and it really made my day. I really appreciate the thought and effort that you and Joshua put into making my bag. Thank you so much for making the bag for me and for the letter you wrote.
Apologies for not writing back to you sooner. I have just got back from my mid-deployment leave where I spent a little time with my family. This is my third deployment with the ADF and, while it is a good experience, being away from family is hard. But, we make the most of our time here and make sure that we look after each other until it's time to head home.
I spent Christmas and New Year's here  and we put on activities throughout the day that were a lot of fun. My section had a breakfast BBQ and a secret Santa gift giving. Later there was a special Christmas lunch and after there was a Christmas themed raffle - I won a sports bag. I hope that you had a good Christmas and New Year's as well.
I hope that you have survived the Australian summer. My wife has been telling me that it has been quite hot there. We are in winter where we are so it's nice and cool, but expected to start warming up soon.
Well, that's about all I can think of at the moment.
Thank you again for the laundry bag,
Best wishes
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Joan Mck Received these pics of one of the quilts that she made .... 



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Hi Sue,

Finally getting some time to myself so I thought I would follow up my letter with an email. I am unsure whether you have my letter yet, the postal system can be quite funny here sometimes.

So I was the lucky recipient of one of your gorgeous quilts in Nov, but have been extremely slack in not making contact to thank you. It's been pretty hectic, but I should have made time so I am sorry. I was very excited when I received your package, and had a great time looking over it and setting up my bed. So much nicer now. I love the fact it is double sided, and I can't lie that I hope it will get extra use when I get home, by being my daughters first quilt (she is currently just over 2 years and for the moment still in a cot, but when I get home we will be transitioning her to a bed). I definitely feel happier coming back to my room between shifts!

I am now counting down the weeks. I think my wife is having a little bit of a tough time at the moment. Thankfully we have a good community so I think she is being looked after. My family had a great time on our ROCTFA, we went to Prague and Iceland, and although it was very cold we had a great time exploring ice caves, frozen waterfalls, and glaciers. It was my daughter's first trip overseas and she travelled really well for her mother.

When I return we will be heading back to the east coast after 4 years in the NT, so looking forward to being closer to family, especially with another one on the way.
Cheers,
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I received this photo of two of my recipients.  More happy smiles. 


Sandra R


Dear Mae,

Thank you so much for my laundry bag and the goodies you included are amazing.
We miss all the flavours of home.  The postcards you included are up on my wall to remind me of home.
I have two sons as well, no grandchildren and am divorced.  My eldest son is in the Navy and my youngest son is looking at joining the Army when he finishes high school.

Once again, thank you, your package made my day.

Merry Christmas and wishing you and your family a Happy 2018.
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These two young gentlemen received their quilts and bags when they visited my home last weekend. 





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

Jan-Maree  xx

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