Thursday, 28 June 2018

More Thank You Messages.... some very overdue I think...

I found this post in draft and I don't think I ever published it.  Some of these thank you messages are terribly late but better late than never... enjoy!!
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Hi Jan-Maree 
I just wanted to send you a quick message to say I got my quilt and am in total love of it.  Straight on the bed and is everything I asked for. Thank you and your quilter (who I am going to reply to separately) for everything. You have no idea how happy this made me, I don't think I've smiled this much since arriving here!

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Good morning Jan-Maree and Tamsin,

I would like to say a big thankyou for my quilt and laundry bag. They are perfect and will be something I will treasure. 

Thankyou for all your creative wonderful work Tamsin.

And all the work you do in the back ground Jan-Maree. 

I have deeply missed my fur family and human family over the last 6 months and it has not always been easy but when the package arrived it brought an instant smile. 

Many thanks



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Dear Pennie


We recently arrived where we will be spending some time alongside. I was pleasantly surprised to find that our mail had finally been delivered. We last received mail back in early December and since that time there have been a number of issues ranging from the inability to clear customs in Tanzania to pallets being mixed with incoming/outgoing mail and returning to Australia. Everyone has been quite frustrated but fortunately it has arrived at last.


That meant that I received the quilt that you sent. You have done an amazing job and I have been showing it off. You nailed the brief which I thought to be perhaps a little too specific. I especially love the Kraken. I showed it to my son who thought it was very cool. I call him ‘squid’ as a nickname so he has decided he wants to put it on his bed. A couple of the guys here were pretty envious of the job you did on mine.



I managed to take a couple of pictures this time which is why I’m using my personal email account. I couldn’t get them through the defence gateway. I’ll try and post on the Aussie Hero Quilts FaceBook page too. 



Thanks for the snacks too, they are a welcomed treat and we generally share out our loot after dinner when we play cards in the wardroom.



We are two thirds of the way through our deployment now but I will soon be conducting a handover here with another doctor and heading back home. It will be over 6 months since I’ve seen my wife and kids so I am very much looking forward to it.



We have had a pretty successful rotation thus far and we have now completed 10 drug seizures totalling about $1.4 billion worth of hash, heroin and crystal methamphetamine. It’s the most any ship has seized anywhere in the world over a single deployment. That has been very helpful in allowing everyone to get a sense that we a making a worthwhile contribution out here. That said, everyone is pretty fatigued and so the last couple of months will be tough on those doing the full 9 months. 



Thank you again. You’ve once again brightened up my day.





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Dear Jean,



Thank you very much for the laundry bag I received today,  I absolutely love it.

The other soldiers and I truly appreciate the hard work from all  involved. I’m pretty familiar with Coffs Harbour as my fiancΓ©e has the vast majority of her family there and we try to visit often. If you would allow it I would like to personally thank-you next time I’m in Coffs Harbour, I’m not sure when that would be however, but most likely mid year sometime.



If you would like that please let me know and we can keep in touch, if not thank-you very much for the laundry bag

And I hope you have an excellent Easter.

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Dear Beverley F,



Thank you so much for the quilt you sent me last year.  Sorry it has taken so long to reply.

I love the quilt, it has been very useful over here and will be a nice reminder of my trip.



I am near the end of my tour, and am going home soon.  It has been a good trip and I have been working with a great team.  I go home where I will be 2IC of a Transport Squadron.  I have a 3 year old Jack Russell who has been staying with my parent while I’ve been over here.



Thank you for your letter as well.

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Hi, Debbie,

                 Just received the quilt and its amazing! I'm 34 years old from the western suburbs of Melbourne and some of my best memories are of watching Doug Hawkins (in his later years) running around the Western Oval.



Really appreciate what you do; it can be a little taxing being away from home for so long and these really do brighten us up.



Thank you (and Dougie) so much for the quilt, and all the best to the kids and grandkids.



Regards, 

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Hello Anne Hr,

I'd like to thank you so much for what is an amazing and beautiful quilt!

It arrived yesterday afternoon and has got pride of place on my bed. It embodies everything I could have wished for! I've attached 2 photos, which I hope go through, showing just how amazing it looks! I'm currently doing a deer cross stitch for my 4 month old niece  and the colors of the quilt match the flowers so well it's fantastic.

I really enjoyed your letter and appreciate being able to one day share the back story to the quilt, as well as the quilter.

The easter eggs made it in one piece and whilst i will bring them out easter sunday they will have to hide in my room until then or else risk being inhaled by the boys in the office.

Once again thank you for all the work and effort you put into my quilt, i will cherish it for years to come!

Kindest regards,



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Good Morning Kate, 

Thank you for the laundry bag. Its having its maiden run today and there is no way that anyone else could mistake my laundry for theirs, from now on. 

Thank you also for the lovely additional and unexpected goodies in the box as well. I've passed them around to all the staff who also say thank you. 

It is a beautiful painting on the card. I hope your friend is still enjoying his/her artwork still (sometimes when you sell the product of your hobby, the hobby becomes a job and less enjoyable). 

I'm glad that you are enjoying sewing for the Defence Force; we are a funny lot at times and I'm sure our requests are equally interesting. 

We work long days, 6 to 7 days a week for anywhere from 6.5 to 12.5 months at a time and all look forward to coming home to 'normal' life, family, friends and community. 

It is tough being away from your family for long periods of time, but it makes it easier when everyone is in the same situation. Although we have opportunities to Skype and message our families, its not the same as being there with them so it can be a bit lonely at times. 

Most people preparing to leave and go home after their deployment remark on how much they are going to miss their surrogate family (the friends left here) when they go home. Its often the friends you make here, sharing the experience with you, that make all the difference. 

But you don't have to worry about that, surrounded by your family, friends and community. XXXX sounds like a close knit community that looks after each other; similar to the surrogate family over here. 

I wish you well in the future and thank you again for the lovely laundry bag and goodies. 

regards 
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Dear Louise, 



G’Day from HMAS Warramunga!



I received the laundry bag that you have beautiful made for me. 

Thank you very much! I really appreciate it. I will certainly use it
The design is perfect, the ship and patches looks great! Very well done. I love it! 


We have been doing a great job, we have so far seized over $1.41 Billion Dollars’ worth of narcotics.



A bit about me, I’m 22 years old, I left school at 17 to join the Navy. I’ve been in for nearly 5 years and still loving it.  I’ve been on three ships and to about 10 countries so far. 



Thank you again very for all of your effort in making me the laundry bag,

I really appreciate it. I hope this email finds you well

Yours respectfully, 
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Hi Sally,

I was lucky enough to receive the awesome laundry bag which you made. 

I am currently serving overseas on my first deployment with the RAAFs Air Task Group in support of Operation Okra.

I grew up in Newcastle on the beach and enjoy surfing, fishing and going camping. I also lived down in Victoria for a bit in a town called Sale which may be similar to Portland and had a great time. 

I would like to thank you so much for the time and effort you put in to making it and your support for all personnel deployed on operations. 

All the best and thanks again.



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Dear Clarissa,

What a wonderful surprise it was for  me to receive your laundry bag at my Chaplains’ course πŸ˜€ !!!

It was such a blessing to all us ‘Padres’ to receive this and especially to have it personalised with my initials.

I used mine straight away on the course as I didn’t bring a laundry bag and was fumbling around with all my gear.  I noticed immediately how well made it was in the first wash -  as the inner material is low friction and made getting the washing out really easy - you thought of everything πŸ‘πŸ‘!

I will always treasure and use it wherever I go - particularly in training and deployment .

Thanks also for your letter and helping me to know you and your family. It was lovely to hear of your children and their lives as well. Maybe I will meet your son one day around the traps πŸ‘.

Thanks again and may you have a lovely Easter and all the blessings it provides.

Kind regards
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Dear Jan-Maree & Ellen,

Thank you for your time and generosity in supporting myself and other ADF deployed members in the work that you do.

Ellen, I received the quilt today after returning back from 14 days leave in Australia with my family. We spent our holiday at Port Stephens and introduced our young daughter (21 month old) to the beach, wildlife and surroundings of the Mid-North Coast.

What can I say… I love the quilt. Words can’t truly describe how humbling it is to receive a gift of this nature. It will now be a treasured and loved piece of our family heritage.

Once I return home in early July this year, I will send you a picture of all the family including our Mini-Schnauzer with the quilt.

Again, thank you so much for all your efforts in volunteering for a great cause.

Kind Regards,
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Ruth, just a short note to thank you very much for the laundry bag I received in the mail. It will certainly be much easier to track my washing from the laundry now. I have deployed numerous times over my 32 years in the Army and this is by far the best package I have ever received.

I love the designs you incorporated and they have given me a lot of talking points to explain to the Americans what Australia is all about.
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Hello Ruth,

I just want to say a big thank you for my beautiful laundry bag! You made my day when I walked in and found a parcel on my desk. I am actually from Adelaide so it was even more special to receive this from you knowing you live in Adelaide as well.

I love the material and thank you so much for going to the trouble to find the perfect one! 

The work you ladies do I amazing!! Thank you again. I really appreciate it. 

Kind Regards, 

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Hi Jeanette,

Thank you so much for the quilt. I absolutely love it! You've obviously put a lot of time and effort into it, and I really appreciate it! The theme is perfect. Several of my mates have said it's the best quilt they've seen here, and I agree. My parents are touched by your efforts too.

I'm a NSW boy myself. I grew up on a sheep and wheat farm near Cootamundra. I'm missing home and the farm over Easter, but receiving your package has made my day. 

I hope you have a great Easter break. Keep up the fantastic work!


Kind regards
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Hello Jenny D,
I must apologise for taking so long to write to you to thank you for my laundry bag – and the packet of Tim Tams wrapped safely inside!

I really love it, but by sheer coincidence, my first posting was to HMAS Albatross (South Coast of NSW), and I lived in a gorgeous townhouse in a tiny town called Gerringong. The next suburb up the coast was Kiama and my Navy friends and I would routinely spend our Saturday nights enjoying Kiama’s restaurants and pubs. I had requested HMAS Albatross as my first posting location as I had grown up in Wollongong, my parents used to take my sisters and I to Kiama as children for ice cream and to visit Kiama blowhole.

To receive a laundry bag made from a Kiama tea towel felt like fate and it reminds me so much of home.

A million thanks for devoting your time to making quilts and laundry bags for those of us deployed, it is such a wonderful gesture.

Yours Aye,
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Dear Gail,
I write to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the beautiful and truly unique quilt I have just received. It was a wonderful surprise and I am deeply grateful and frankly humbled by such a gift.

I was late to learn of the Aussie Hero Quilts until I saw them arriving throughout the Task Group. They are superb and are highly valued by our people. I thought I missed the boat and, as I have been busy, neglected to submit a request. I am fortunate that one of my team was thoughtful enough to submit one for me and it is a lovely surprise.

Thanks also for your story. This means a great deal and makes this quilt all the more meaningful. I hope you are enjoying a nice summer with the grandchildren and wish you a safe and memorable trip to the Kimberley.


Yours aye,
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Dear Dianne, Heather and Dot,

Happy Easter!!

Ladies please accept my heartfelt thanks for the kind gift of a laundry bag which I have received. The bag is adorned with an orange stripped material; and just so you know orange is one of my favourite colours. The thoughtfulness of your time and effort to make this and think of my service are greatly appreciated.

A little about myself. I am a long term serviceman, approaching 34 years of service this September. I enlisted a sailor at the age of 17 in 1984 and having an honourable service history, I have climbed the ranks to Warrant Officer; and then in 2007 I commissioned as a Lieutenant and accessed Uni studies. I am now a Charge Qualified Maritime Logistics Officer (MLO) serving in my 15th Ship. My Ships include HMA Ships Vampire, Stalwart, Darwin (three times), Brisbane, Perth, Torrens, Anzac, Warramunga, Tobruk, Newcastle, and Melbourne before arriving in HMAS Success. I have served on Operation Dirk, Operation Relex II, Operation Slipper, Operation Paladin, and a swag of Naval Exercises.

My current posting in HMAS Success the Navy’s battle tanker an aging Ship having served Australia with honour and distinction. She served in Gulf War One 1991 and more recently in 2014 on Operation Manitou in the Middle East. Success is a multi-role tanker which holds and transfers Fuel and water, rations, bombs and bullets, and general cargo for other Ships. We have sailed on deployment for five months, we will participate in the largest Military Exercise in the world; known as RIMPAC.

I hope this email has found you well and again I wish to pass my appreciation and gratitude for your time and amazing gift; thank you!!
 .....

Dear Clarissa,

I am a Flying Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). I have served in the RAAF for over 10 years now and have deployed on operations to Qatar, Unit Arab Emirates and Afghanistan. I leave at home in Queensland my wife and three children - 11, 8, and 5. 

Unfortunately, it never gets an easier leaving my family behind but receiving a laundry bag along with your message of support is certainly comforting and reinstates the reason I continue to serve our amazing country.

I will serve just over six months in the Sinai with the Multinational Force & Observers (MFO). The MFO is made up of the following 12 nations: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay. 

Your parcel has endured a long journey that as it has made its way from Australia to Al Minhad Air Base (24km south of Dubai) to Sharm El Sheik (South Peninsula of Sinai). I can’t emphasise enough the positive impact that Aussie Hero Quilts and the volunteers who support this foundation are having on the Australian Contingents deployed across the globe.
I want to sincerely thank you for your generosity in providing a magnificent personalised laundry bag, that provides an impression of home whilst capturing the time I will spend serving in Egypt. Your artistic display in the form of a laundry bag will continue to follow me throughout my career.

Warmest Regards,
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Fran,

Thank you so very much, for this fantastic quilt, it is amazing.
The MFO logo is perfect, with the Egyptian panels, this quilt will be my treasure received in the Sinai.

Similar to you, I grew up in a home where my mother embroidered, crocheted and knitted, however I took the easy path and joined the Army.😊 So I can appreciate the hours and craftsmanship that has gone into this quilt, and all the magnificent quilts and laundry bags, Jan-Maree’s very talented team of quilters produce.

Thanks again for the quilt and the reminder of the selfless support people at home provide to those in the Australian Defence Force.

As you can see below it is perfect, and brightens up the room. Thank you for your generosity and your support.




Forever grateful,

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Hi, thank you all heaps for the awesome quilt that arrived yesterday. Love the dozens of guitars all over it. I received my laundry bag just before Christmas and this arrives in time for Easter. You all do a magnificent job at raising morale! Special thanks to Captain R. for requesting this and of course to Jenny the talented quilter.
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Dear Su,

I recently received a laundry bag with your letter inside it. I am an Infantry LCPL in 1 RAR and am currently posted to Malaysia for the next 3 months. I just wanted to take some time to thank you for the laundry bag, I received the one with the Tasmanian Wildlife on it. It reminds me a lot of my nan, she used to do a lot of cross stitch. It’s been very handy already and I am sure it will stay in my family for a long time. Thank you very much for taking the time to make the bags you sent to us, it means a lot and I appreciate it very much.


Regards,
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Dear Robyn,

Thank you very much for the new laundry bag. It looks awesome and I have already started to use it. I love the pattern you have used as it is very Australian with the Aboriginal art and also the use of the kangaroo pattern on the reverse side.

It was great timing of the bag as mine broke a couple of weeks ago. The string was a little old as it has been used for a good couple of years now. I have it hanging in my room when it is not in use. It gives me some cheer when I come inot my room due to the colours it has.

I am deployed in the Middle East and have been for the past 2 months. I love it here. The scenery is awesome and it is fantastic to be working here with other nations. I have really learned a lot working with them and discovered how to do things better. It is always a learning environment every day.

Well thank you again for the laundry bag. It has helped immensely. I hope all is well in Australia (minus the cricket saga) and all the best for you and your family for 2018.


Kind regards
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Dear Janis,
Firstly thank you for the lollies,pizza shapes etc and Tim Tams, was trying to be good and eat healthy 🀭. The little poppy designed happiness bag is just delightful. Love it.
The quilt arrived a couple of days later. Wow wow it is just fantastic, love how you incorporated the minions into the poppies.

Everyone here raves about Aussie Hero Quilts and show off their quilts with pride and a tear in the eye. It is just amazing that what we do is appreciated by everyone at home.
Thank you once again with the warmest regards 

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Dear Kaye,

Thank you very much for the incredible laundry bag.  I was told about your organization and said 'put me down for one' without actually understanding what the actual product was.  I am so very grateful for the amazing amount of work that you have put into the bag and capturing the two motifs so well and the initials are a very welcome surprise.

Back home a laundry bag would not usually be high on my attention span but in my current job the constant balance to keep one clean uniform in front of unrelenting dust and sweaty conditions has made my laundry bag front and centre of my bed space.  We are living three to a conex sized container, which by normal military field standards is luxury, but personal space does become a very important element of personal resilience and your laundry bag will make my bed space so much more of a home away from home.

The ADF has made sure that we are really well looked after and the continuous support we get from the Australian population is truly incredible. 

Thank you very much for making the remainder of my tour that little bit brighter.

 .....



Hi Ellen, 

I was lucky enough to receive the awesome quilt made by yourself. 

I am currently serving overseas as part of the RAAFs Air Task Group in support of Operation Okra.

I grew up in Newcastle and am the first in my family to join the military. Since I was born I have been camping with my family in our caravan up and down the east coast of Australia going surfing and fishing. I have a 2 year old golden retriever at home named Charlie as well. I’m sure you will love New Zealand, my girlfriend and I hired a car last year and toured both islands over Christmas. 

Attached is a photo of me with the quilt you made. I would like to thank you so much for the time and effort you put in to making it and your support for all personnel deployed on operations. It makes my tent look a little more like home. 

All the best for your travels in New Zealand and thanks again.


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Dear Mrs C,

Thank you for your super note, and beautiful quilt.

It has been wet and snowy here in Kabul and the C130 planes struggle a little bit because of the altitude, so the first thing that gets dumped off the aircraft is the post!!!
But the weather is warming up and so we are slowly only getting the last of our Christmas parcels and Anzac parcels at the same time, and of course the quilts which we have been hanging out for since we put the requests in.

You have no idea the smiles, and how special you make us feel when we receive them.  It’s like a badge of honour, and the fact that they are so personalised makes them so special to the recipients; particularly when you have no idea what to expect and they unfold from the box and it’s everything you could wish for.  I must admit, I shed a little tear or two, and your quilt arrived on a day that was not great, and it just turned everything around, thank you.

We have been here in Afghanistan a little while now, and we are on a NATO base.  Living here is like living on the moon!  It is very beautiful country with lots of mountains like Everest, but the ground is great not like our ground at home.  We call it moon dust; however it appears to be quite fertile.

We work in the hospital, and of the 29 member nations of NATO we have Albanians, Croatians, Czech, Danish, Romanians, Turks, USA and UK members working in the hospital.  We all kind of understand each other with lots of hand signals and funny words!!
I am a Nurse Practitioner in the Navy and work in the hospital.  I can do all the simple stuff that the Doctors do so that they can look after the more complex patients.

Mrs Ce, thank you for your dedication and your work and art.  It is so very appreciated by us all.  I love my quilt, it is so different with its circles, and the little red sparkles are like Dorothy’s slippers which reminds me that there is no place like home.

Thank you.


Very warm regards,
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Hello Margaret.

Thankyou very much for your beautiful laundry bag that was sent through Aussie Hero Quilts. 

I am posted to the First Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Charlie Company. I am an Infantryman, specifically a grenadier and combat first aider. 

Thankyou for you and your family keeping the Aussie spirit alive and continuing years of tradition on your land in Yass. Your laundry bag is very much appreciated and I've had a lovely reminder of home. 

Thankyou.

Sincerely,
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Hi Ellen,

Thank you very much for your wonderful quilt.   It was really amazing work and I appreciate so much.   Sorry for late reply as I did get the quilt only two weeks ago and I was heading home last week.  I have attached the picture of the quilt with my sons below. They love it so much and also they would like to thank you.   All the best for your retirement and have fun.

Regards
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Hi Helen,

Thank you so very much for the amazing quilt you and the team put together for me. It is a most beautiful piece of work. I’m almost afraid to use it!
It arrived in the mail during our last port visit in Dubai. The temperature was over 35 outside so I’ve not had much of a chance to use it yet, but I’m sure as the temperatures drop on our return transit to Australia it will be a very welcome addition.
Please pass on my thanks to those other members of your group who helped along the way. Your contribution individually, and as a team, is very much appreciated by all of us on board.
I’m not sure what my wife will think of the design (she’s not exactly thrilled with the Navy taking me away for so long) but I’m sure it will be a hit with my three young children. I have no doubt your quilt will be fought over on many a cold winter’s night.
Again, my most sincere thanks.

Warmest regards,
.....

Hi Ally

I’m writing to say thank you for the laundry bag! Not only do I love it but I also needed one desperately as my laundry was currently piling up with no where to stash it.

King regards
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Dear Beverley,

Thank you very much for the lovely quilt that you so lovingly created.  It is beautiful and I am very appreciative of your hard work and dedication to this noteworthy cause.

It was very interesting to read about you and your husband’s travels around Australia.  I agree that we have a beautiful country and not enough Australian get out and see it.
My partner and I have a 4wd with a roof top tent and we have done some traveling including driving from Melbourne to Perth when I posted there.

Once again, thank you very much for the quilt.  I wish you and your husband all the best for the future.


Regards,
.....

Jo, Carolyn, Maxine, Elwyn, Pam, Sandra, Jill, Janet, Phyllis, Denise and Margaret,

Thank you very much for the patchwork laundry bag. It certainly brightened my day to receive a gift from someone in Australia who was thinking of me.

Recently, we were honoured with being the Escort to 1 RAR’s old Colours when we received the new Regimental and Queens Colours from the Governor General. This occasion was also the commemoration of 50 years since the Battle of Fire Support Base Coral where beginning 12 May 1968 The 1st Battalion, supported by 102nd Field Battery and Armoured Personnel Carriers from A Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment held their ground and achieved their mission against the odds. Over 5 days, 19 Australians were killed and 47 wounded in the action.

Our Battalion has a social media presence on Facebook – 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment - if you are interested in that sort of thing.

It means a great deal to me, and the soldiers in A Company, to serve our country and the laundry bags provided us a timely reminder of why we do.

Once again, thank you and I hope this email finds you all well.
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Hi Anne, 

I'm a digger in 1RAR Mortar platoon currently attached to A coy on deployment with them at Rifle Company Butterworth in Malaysia. I just wanted to thank you so much for the laundry bag and your letter. It really was a surprise and so thoughtful. I know that I speak for all of us diggers here when I say that we really appreciate all the time and effort that went into these. You're doing such a great thing for us diggers and just know that it doesn't go unnoticed. 

My thanks again. I hope you're having a great day in Brisbane.

.....

Hello Ellen,

First of all, thank you so much for your letter that accompanied the ‘quilt' in the post. The quilt did arrive safely and I must admit was very thrilled to receive a beautiful nature / seaside designed quilt.

Reading your letter makes me appreciate what a wonderful life we lead in Australia and why the ADF are committed in preserving our way of life in the war against terrorism, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq. I am thankful and grateful that people like yourself have faith in our quest to preserve our values. Reading your story of your family having close ties to the ADF makes me very proud that many Aussies do believe in a 'far go’ for all people. 

I am coming to an end of my military career having just returned from the Middle Eastern Region. I have served on 4 deployments totalling just under 18 months overseas and I must say I am proud to have served our country in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict. Interestingly, my son also served in the Army in Afghanistan (before me) at a place called Tarin Kowt. Going to that location was quite weird knowing he was there before me. Of course we are very close sharing our experience whilst overseas. My second son has recently joined the Army and is currently in Albury waiting to conduct his trade as a Fuel Specialist.  

Again, I wish to thank you for the wonderful quilt that I will treasure. My wife loves it as well. 


All the very best in your retirement and please take care on the roads.

Kindest regards,
.....


Hello Ruth,

Thanks for the laundry bag. It is fantastic.
The tea towel used is perfect :)

Thanks again for your hard work.

Kind regards,
.....


Dear Ruth - hope you're well.

Thank you so much for the lovely laundry bag you made for me.  I received it yesterday.

It is very nice and I am very thankful to you for taking the time and effort to do something so meaningul and thoughtful.  

I'm looking forward to using the laundry bag with fondness and am sure will get years of service out of it,  Thank you so much.

Best wishes to you and your family

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