Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Words on Wednesday 9 Jan 18

Greetings from beautiful Corlette, north of Newcastle.  It is Tuesday night as I write this and I am on my way to Brisbane for the weekend. I am staying with recipients/friends for most nights I am away except Thursday night when I am treating myself to a stay in Byron Bay (because I have never been there and want to check it out)  

Tomorrow night I will be in Coffs Harbour, on Thursday Byron Bay, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will be in Brisbane and Monday back in Coffs... Home Tuesday so please bear with me if emails are a bit slow this week!

Anyway, tonight I am staying with Rick and Tammy... both ex-RAAF.  What is really special for me is that Rick and I served together and in 2017 he deployed to Afghanistan and I was able to surprise him by making him a LB.  Lynn made his quilt.  

Rick and I worked out that it must be 30 years since we have seen each other but as it is with friendships based on shared service, 30 years means nothing and we picked up our friendship where we left off.  

I thought you would like to see this photo of us with Rick's laundry bag and also the one of him with his quilt, both of which he treasures.  He refuses to use his laundry bag but he has agreed, thanks to his wife,  Tammy's, urging, to use his quilt. 


Check out the view behind us... that is Port Stephens... tough life huh???

Thanks Rick and Tammy for your hospitality... I really enjoyed my stay, the yummy roast  lamb dinner, the great conversation and friendship! I might have to come back!
.....

and now for the rest of this week's messages. 

Hello Joy,
You made a wonderful quilt for me whilst I was on deployment a while ago with the theme of Deadpool and Krav Maga. I apologise for not emailing you sooner; I received the quilt near the end of my time away while we were getting ready to come home and I had misplaced your letter in the pandemonium of packing everything - not finding it until a little while ago.

Thank you so much for the effort that you put into the quilt - it definitely brightened my time away. It is something that I will keep, and use, for many years to come. My cats have taken to sleeping on it every chance they get, which is a plus as it does keep them off our bed!

I hope that you get to reduce your mountain of fabric soon.
Again, thank you so much for your work and efforts for us.
Sincerely
......

Dear Cheryl,


First of all, thank you so much for the awesome quilt. It looks incredible and has gone straight onto my bed. Your boys were right – it id definitely dope! Myself and many of my peers over here in Iraq have received something special from Aussie Hero Quilts. We greatly appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating them.

I grew up in Brisbane and moved to Canberra after school to join the Army. I’ve since lived all over the country but still call Queensland home. I’m currently working in Iraq to help train Iraqi security forces.

I hope you keep producing these fantastic quilts for those that follow on after us. It’s a big morale boost to get such a thoughtful and personal gift.

I hope you and your family are well.

Best wishes,


.....

Dear Sue,

I just wanted to write you a heartfelt thank you for the beautiful quilt. I wasn’t expecting it to arrive until closer to the end of our 7 month tour here, so it was a lovely surprise when I opened the box. You’ve done an amazing job incorporating the rainbow colours with the Incan Chakana symbol – it looks so vibrant and colourful and I love it. I’ve put it up as a wall hanging in my room to break up the monotony of the white walls and it’s adding so much colour and warmth, it does make this place feel a little more like a home away from home. A lot of people are starting to receive their quilts now, and it really does mean so much to us to know the folks back home are thinking of us.

We are all so honoured and humbled by the care and love shown to us in the form of these quilts, gifts and messages from so many schools, scout groups, community groups and from every-day Australians. It is hard being away from family for this amount of time in a foreign and sometimes hostile land, but the people we are here to help certainly appreciate it and the politicians always mention how proud the rest of the nation are of us too. We have been visited by the Minister of Defence, the new Prime Minister and most of the senior Defence Chiefs who all convey the same message. We are proud to be doing what we do, but as this trip draws closer to the end, I can’t wait to get home to my partner. We also have a cat and a parrot – a strange mix but they get on quite fine!

So, thank you again Sue – your quilt will be treasured and remind me of pride, love and our wonderful country every time I wake up and see it.

Kind regards,
.....

Hey Cheryl,
Thank you for the awesome quilt and laundry bag. 

A little background information about me; I’ve been in the Army for 10 years, I’ve completed tours of Afghanistan and Malaysia as a grunt (infantry) and this trip here in Iraq as a “technical electrician”. All completely different experiences, both good and the bad. Comes with the job description I suppose. I have an amazing wife of 6 years marriage today and two gorgeous kids,10 yrs and 4 yrs.

You said that you are new to this gig. Couldn’t tell 😊. These gestures might seem small and insignificant but they go a long way. Just knowing that people do appreciate the effort and hardship soldiers do endure during their service means the world. Keep up the work you’re doing; the future soldiers will appreciate it as much as I do.
Enjoy the Christmas Holidays,
......

Dear Sue,
Thank you very much for my quilt, I can tell that a lot of love and effort went into it's creation.
Having my family service history on it was so meaningful, and hopefully something my children will cherish in the future.
Thanks again,
......

Dear Sheena,

Thank you for your efforts on the quilt. It definitely met the brief and this will make for a permanent memento for my time spent in the Middle East.

I am currently deployed on Operation Okra which is the Australian effort for Operation Inherent Resolve (the fight against ISIS). I have completed just over five months and I am due to return home soon which I am very much looking forward to.

Again thank you for your efforts it is very much appreciated.
.....

Dear Bridget, 

I was lucky enough to receive one of your amazing laundry bags when I went on tour to entertain the troops with Forces Entertainment. I am a comedian who works all around Australia and abroard. It was such a lovely gift and really came in handy. I will be using it from now on. You will be pleased to know we spread the cheer to the troops to the best of our ability over the Christmas period. 

Thank you once again. 



Sincerely 

.....

Good Afternoon Lynn,

                                       Let me start by congratulating on a very colourful life to date. I would also like to congratulate both you and Arthur on your 50th wedding anniversary. Staying together for so long is testament of the love you have for each other and the seriousness you placed on you wedding vows. Well done to both of you. I  have been married myself for 37 years and I wouldn't want to go back and change a thing. Yes we all go through hard times but being there for each other is testament to our character and deep love, support and respect for each other.

Now to get to the crux of my email and that is to thank you ever so much for your beautiful contribution to my treasured quilt that you helped make possible that was presented to me by my Commanding Officer on behalf of Aussie Hero Quilts. I was not only speechless and fighting back tears, but also truly humbled. I am still at home recuperating and your quilt is a bright addition to my surroundings. I have never myself attempted quilting, but I too like to sew. 

The word thank you for the time and effort you spent on my quilt seems such an insignificant word. When my Commanding Officer presented me with the quilt you spent so much time on, I experienced a great deal of difficulty holding my composure, as I felt so truly honoured that such a wonderful group of people felt that my career deserved such an honour. I took the time to admire the beautiful work that you had injected to the quilt. The beautiful background, the pretty bright green flowers (my favourite bright colour) and my Corps patch that was so carefully placed in the corner. All of these individual pieces were sewn together to make the front of a beautiful quilt that I will always treasure. I have used the quilt many times already,  as I  am currently spending a lot of time laying or sitting around.

Lynn I would like to thank you again for the incredibly important work that you are doing by contributing to these hero blankets. The blanket lifted my spirits at a time that I am incapacitated and unable to help my brothers and sisters in arms. This lead to my spirits being down. I was overjoyed, overwhelmed and certainly felt undeserving of such an honour of receiving an Aussie Hero Quilt. I am so very grateful to you and everybody else who contributed to my treasured quilt. 

Lynn, l would like to wish you and Arthur health and happiness as we move into 2019 and may you long be able to contribute to the important work of Aussie Hero Quilts. 


Kind Regards 
.....


Hello Kay,

                Thank you so much for the absolutely amazing quilt. ὒ

                I feel so privileged to have received one and that you have spent some of your time designing and making it.
                It’s quite cold here in Kabul and there is now snow on the surrounding mountains every day.
                I hope you have a very merry Christmas with your family and I wish you a wonderful 2019.
                Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
.....


Dear Fran

As I write this I am sitting in my office thinking of home.  Thank you so much for the quilt, I love it so much.  It reminds me of home and all the things I love.  Our deployment has gone well so far.  Yes we have had the usual getting used to a new work routine and new work colleagues but things have gone pretty smoothly.

The quilt has brightened up my room which is nice.  I have showed it off to all my peers living in the same rooms as myself.  Thank you for your generosity in making the quilt and of spirit.
.....


Hello Kay,

                Thank you so much for the absolutely amazing quilt. ὒ
                I feel so privileged to have received one and that you have spent some of your time designing and making it.
                It’s quite cold here in Kabul and there is now snow on the surrounding mountains every day.
                I hope you have a very merry Christmas with your family and I wish you a wonderful 2019.
                Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
.....

Dear Fran

As I write this I am sitting in my office thinking of home.  Thank you so much for the quilt, I love it so much.  It reminds me of home and all the things I love.  Our deployment has gone well so far.  Yes we have had the usual getting used to a new work routine and new work colleagues but things have gone pretty smoothly.

The quilt has brightened up my room which is nice.  I have showed it off to all my peers living in the same rooms as myself.  Thank you for your generosity in making the quilt and of spirit.
.....

Hi Cheryl,

I cannot thank you enough for your very special gift.  I will treasure this quilt, it means so much to be appreciated by fellow Australians.

I have another three months on this deployment, then return home to Newcastle.

You have done an amazing job on my quilt.  I wish I could be creative in this way, but I’m not.  I absolutely love what you have done!

The Middle East is a great experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to deploy, however, there is no place like home.

Take care, and many thanks,
.....

Philomena,

Apologies for the lateness of my email, but my team has been super busy over Christmas! The laundry bags that you and your fellow quilters send are not only practical but a valued reminder that the people my team serve and defend are thinking of us over the Christmas period. To give you an idea of where you bag has found itself, I am the Executive Officer (second in command) of HMAS AlbanyAlbany is an Armidale Class Patrol Boat, one of the smaller warships in the Royal Australian Navy. Our primary task is to patrol the northern waters conducting fisheries and border enforcement missions in addition to travelling overseas to assist our allies and regional partners in developing their own maritime security. Despite our size we roam far and wide; in the last year Albany has travelled to the Cocos Keeling Islands to the west, the Torres Strait in the east and even as far north as the Philippines.

When the laundry bags thoughtfully made by yourself and fellow quilters found us, we were just preparing to depart on a patrol over the Christmas and New Year’s Period. Although called from their families, my team took our mission with good humour and made the most of it, helped along by the provision of gifts such as these which are always eagerly taken up. Rest assured that these laundry bags always find appreciative owners! On behalf of myself and my crew, thank you and you fellow quilters for the gift and I hope you had a merry Christmas and are making the most of the New Year!

Regards,
.....

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

Jan-Maree xx

No comments:

Post a Comment