Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Grati-Tuesday 14 Jul 2020

G'day all, I hope this find you safe and well..

Tuesday's post is always one of my favourites for the week, never failing to leave a smile on my face and this week is no exception. Hope you enjoy them just as much!

 Happy reading everyone!

.... 

 Recently Jan-Maree received a request from Solider On. They run a yoga class for veterans on a regular basis. At various points during the class they lie back to cool down or warm up (im not a yoga expert) and it is nice for them to have a blanket or quilt to keep warm under.

I was asked if we had any quilts we could spare for this purpose. There are many ways to support our veterans, letting them know that their service is valued and this is but another one.

Recently the quilts were collected and delivered to Solider On in Canberra. Today I heard back from them and the message in part...

I really cant thank you enough for all the wonderful quilts. Barry delivered them and had the great pleasure of presenting them to Frontline Yoga Group yesterday.

Everyone was overwhelmed with the generosity of you and your lovely team.

David who runs the class along with Felicity, is a very talented photographer and took the attached brilliant photo.

Please pass on our sincere thanks to all the quilters who gave up their time to produce such amazing work, we are so grateful to you all.

Good Evening Beverly

I have just received your hero quilt that you made for me. I was happy to open it and it's perfect. Thank you so much for the work you've put in and thank you for the letter. 

Regards,

....  

Dear Kate,

I received such a pleasant surprise today with the arrival of my amazing laundry bag, that you so very carefully designed and put together. The work and effort you have put into this is absolutely amazing and I feel so privileged to receive such a beautifully crafted, and extremely personal, gift. The time and effort you have put into it is simply astonishing and I cant believe that it has over 96,000 stitches!!

I absolutely love it and will treasure it for years to come. I would love for this to be handed down to my children as a really nice keepsake that not only tells a story about who I am, but also the extremely important contribution that people like yourself make to our country through organisations like Aussie Hero Quilts. You should be proud of the work you do, and I know that every single person that receives one of your wonderful quilts and laundry bags is so very grateful.

I'm sure the weather is quite pleasant back there right now. We are smack bang in the middle of summer over here and today's temperature was 48 degrees. We are extremely lucky to have air conditioning, which makes things so much more pleasant. I know my wife and daughter are shivering through a cold winter and it's a bit strange to hear how cold it is when you're experiencing such high temperatures over here. I continue to be amazed by the resilience of the locals and how they endure these extreme temperatures year after year.

In closing, I would again like to thank you for my laundry bag and all the extra goodies you sent over. As I alluded to earlier, receiving mail and packages from back home is such a huge morale lifter and the part you play in maintaining that morale cannot be underestimated.

Kind regards,

....

Dear Jan-Maree,

I am emailing to say thank you for the amazing washing bag that I have received from you. I am really appreciative and it is a great boost to morale when we receive things such as this.

By way of introduction, I am in the Royal Australian Navy. I have served in the Navy since 2001 and in that time I have served multiple times undertaking border protection operations and also deployed to the Middle East twice. I was born in Victoria and my parents still live there. I have a partner who now lives with me in NSW.

Currently I am posted to HMAS Canberra and last week we set off on deployment around the Pacific. It will be a long and arduous deployment as we will not be allowed to step ashore in any ports due to COVID-19. Things such as what you have done does help us get through these times.

I hope you are well and please feel free to email anytime you like.

P.S. my CO has mentioned your name to me previously and he is a big fan of your work and of you as a person.

Thank you again.

....

Dear Rachel,

Thank you so much for the quilt. The time and effort you have put in for a stranger is very heartfelt and greatly appreciated.

It is a very strange time for the world. I hope by now the restrictions have eased for you and you have been able to get back to normal life. 

We have experienced a lot of change from abroad also, but on a lighter note! The restrictions have limited our interaction with the partner force, meaning we have gone from being kissed on each cheek by upto 50 men a day to 50 fist bumps instead. 

Thanks again!

....

Dear Joy,

Thank you very much for the laundry bag, it is amazing. You did a great job and got a lot of my favourite brands, being from SA you even included West End :)

I have been here now for over 5 months and am looking forward to coming home to see my family. I miss my kids a lot.

I left Australia before there was a single case of COVID19 and since I have been gone, Australia and most of the world has gone into quarantine. It has been very trying and tiring over here as our workload increased by probably 2 fold dealing with new restriction laws that were being implemented both back at home and locally, ensuring we had appropriate supplies and planning in place to deal with the pandemic. It has been hard.. and yet I really appreciate being part of it. Being part of a team which is playing an important role of a much bigger 'machine'.

I understand the weather back home has been very cold this year. It has been extremely hot here. I cannot recall a day in the last month where the maximum temperature got below 40. And it is only going to get hotter before I leave. But I appreciate the opportunity I have been given to serve my country and the support we all get from home just makes things so much easier. Thank you again for your time and effort you put into making the laundry bag for me and the support you provide to the Australian Defence Force. It is very much appreciated.

I wish you and your family all the best.

Thank you again.

....

 Toni

 I hope you are doing well. 

I have been loving my laundry bag for the previous couple of months now, I always know which is mine in the crowd of a few, it's definitely a good feeling when I go to grab my washing, looking at the colours of the bags with the dolphin on the front has definitely made my trip that much better... way better than looking at a standard laundry bag... the bag sways on my locker and everyone knows who I support, even if they don't know which support they play.

You have done an excellent job with the bag! It has been a pleasure using it, will serve me for quite a few years, I'm sure of it.

Just as the bag arrived, the next day was the draft and we drafted our biggest player in the past 20+ years, finally we might make it deep into the finals in the next couple of years.

COVID is still taking a turn for the worst, I am moving to Victoria in the next few months and things are starting to heat up there again, but the actual heat is starting to decline.

The trip has been long and arduous, but definitely worth the experience, something I haven't completed before.

I hope you stay well and thanks for the laundry bag once again.

....

 Dear Heather,

I would like to thank you for all the amazing quilt I received while I am currently deployed. It was beyond my expectations and I was completely overwhelmed by the detail and the beautiful work you have done.

A little about myself, I'm a full-time Royal Australian Air Force Nurse, and have had various careers within both the RAN and RAAF, serving 19 years to date. I was born in Victoria and have lived all over Australia with the ADF and travelled overseas for many work-related opportunities.

At home I have a dog, a 14 yo chihuahua x foxy and a teenage daughter. When I showed her my quilt and letter via Skype and photos, she was more than impressed. Pretty hard to impress teenagers these days :)

Additionally, she was happy that my quilt was made with love from QLD as she is a Queenslander.

Once again, thank you for your kind words in your letter and hope things are returning to normal for you. Keep up the amazing work, all members truly appreciate their quilts.

Warm regards

 

Dear Wendy,

 Thanks so much for the awesome quilt. I was so excited to receive it in our last mail delivery before we commence our return to Australia transit. I was blown away by how good it is, you and your lovely team of dedicated ladies really did a fantastic job and I am very grateful. I really love the quilting pattern with the stars and basketballs, it looks amazing. You must have a pretty impressive quilting machine.

A few facts about me. I grew up in Victoria and joined the Navy in 1998. When I originally joined I completed several years as a communications maintainer. After a few years as a sailor, I completed my Degree. 

I am now aboard HMAS Toowoomba and I manage my team of technicians. In my spare time, I love spending it with my kids, and I love outdoor activities.

I hope everything has been going well for you and your family. I note that NSW has been going well with COVID19 numbers remaining low. 

Being away is difficult enough at the best of time, but it has been extra difficult during this COVID19 Pandemic. Not only worrying about keeping ourselves focused and on the mission, we are now having the additional worry about our friends and family back home. So in all honestly, receiving this quilt did raise my spirits and made me feel appreciated and respected. It is heartening to know that there are genuine people like yourselves doing this work, it really is appreciated by all onboard HMAS Toowoomba.

I wish you all the very best for the year ahead, it is proving to be a very difficult time but hopefully you all stay fit and healthy and life can get back to normal soon.

 With sincere regards and appreciation,

....

 Hi Liz,

Being a married man with an Army wife and two teenage boys, getting care packages is a pretty rare thing - we have been married and have both been deployed enough to not really fuss about those things. My wife had sent her first one last week and then the mailroom said I had a second and I thought it was an old email. But no, it was your lovely package with the laundry bag and lollies. 

I have been in the Army for over 30 years now and yours is the very first laundry bag I have had that wasn't white mesh! It hasn't made it to my room yet as it is on display in my office. None of my previous or my wife's previous deployments had Aussie Quilts - we have been deployed a few times to lovely exotic places.

 I am currently deployed in the Middle East. I got here in late November and we are pulling everything out slowly as the locals can manage themselves quite incredibly now. We have closed a bunch of bases and there are more to follow in the coming months hopefully.

I am due to be here over 12 months in total and would have had three leave period - two of which we planned to go home and third was going to be a trip to Italy, but all of that is now on hold. We have great access to the internet so I can chat to the boys on the weekends when I have my Sunday morning off. COVID has stopped a lot of service and facilities on base - gym, pool, library, cinemas but internet is still running. Some things are starting back up now we have the service providers on base and after 14 days of quarantine they are opening back up. I miss the haircuts and am booked in for one in July - the earliest I could get a booking. I have the longest hair I have ever had - including before I joined the Army in 1990.

We have a pet, a lovely cat, who is our third child. She loves our eldest and is ever present around him, even accompanying him in the bathroom to sit in the sink or on the washbasket when he brushes his teeth.

With over 70 laundry bags you certainly have a connection with us - me now included. 

Thank you very much for the bag, it will be loved for the rest of my deployment and in the future at home. It brings a nice slice of home into my day to day life.

Regards,

....

 From the Facebook page thank you to Aussie Hero Quilts for this absolutely wonderful quilt. It is an incredibly special and humbling thought to know that amongst all of the challenges in Australia this year, that you and your team have had the time to put these together and send quilts over for myself and the Aussies serving in the Middle East.

 



 Hi Sandy,

Thank you so much for my Aussie Hero Quilt, which I received in today's mail. Unfortunately I think the quilt came into the country as I was leaving to come back home, hence the delay in me receiving it.

 The quilt is beautifully made and better than I imagined it would be. Thank you Sandy, for your excellent work and in deciphering my pattern request. My wife was very impressed and we will use this in our TV room this winter.

 ....

 Dearest Irene,

 Firstly thank you for my quilt. It is amazing you have done an exceptional job. I am sure that the request had the Australian White Ensign and the poppies are common, but maybe the purple and yellow insert not so obvious. Purple and yellow are the colours of HMAS Toowoomba and come from city's flag. On the flag there is a shield split into four. In one of those quadrants is the purple horse head on a gold background (representing the pioneer days) which is embroidered HMAS Toowoomba's crest on my quilt. HMAS Toowoomba is affectionately known around the fleet as the 'purple pony' although the Captain much prefers being the 'warhorse'. The quilt now has pride of place on my rack and because the weather is now quite warm it has replaced my doona. As this sea posting HMAS Toowoomba your quilt with purple and gold will forever remind me of my favourite job and where I got to make a difference in the world, and for that I am forever grateful.

 It has been a very busy and unique deployment with the COVID pandemic, although I am not sure how it is effecting everyone back in Australia. It has affected us, in unique ways, difficulties in getting spare parts delivered from Australia to the Middle East, and being restricted to the ship.

 I grew up in Victoria, and went to University before joining the Navy in 2001. I have posted to Cairns, Sydney and Rockingham with the Navy and numerous ships in that time. As I grew up in Victoria, I follow AFL and barrack for Essendon, and sometimes get to watch them play in Western Australia. I have a cat who is living with my parents while I am deployed overseas. This will be the first time my family have not been to one of my important Navy milestones, but hopefully it will be streamed so they can watch it via the Internet.

Once again, thank you for my quilt, and thinking of the Defence Force deployed overseas. The care packages that we have received over the deployment has been amazing and delivered at the most pertinent time.

Yours truly.

....

 Hi Jan-Maree,

Thank you for your work with Aussie Hero Quilts. I know how much the quilts and laundry bags are appreciated by our service members as some of the service personnel that had received theirs were very impressed and grateful. I was not aware of this organisation until my deployment and in reading your letter about how you started, I am extremely grateful for your efforts in making life for our service personnel a little bit better.

I hope both of you to keep up with this wonderful service and I wish you the very best for the future.

Deepest regards.

 

Hi Bronwyn,

I received my quilt in the mail this week and it is perfect, exactly as I pictured it in my mind. I am so impressed that you turned my ideas into a beautiful quilt that is exactly what I was hoping to receive.

 The level of quality shows how much time and effort you put into making it for me and I can't thank you enough.

  I'm a dog lover, we have two dogs at home, a staffy cross (we don't know what he is crossed with as he was a rescue puppy, he is a big boy, so maybe cross hippo, haha), and a little foxie cross.

 I have two kids and my wife back home in Queensland who I miss, and being nearly half way through my deployment, your quilt arrived at the best time to raise my spirits. I find it amazing what you and the other volunteers at Aussie Hero Quilts do for us here. I have been in regular contact with Jan-Mare and following her cancer treatment on social media; it really put life into perspective doesn't it.

 I hope you and your family are safe and doing well during COVID pandemic. It certainly is a challenge here managing it while supporting operations and doing our job, but we manage.

 Thank you again for my awesome quilt.

Regards,

 ..... 

Good Morning Sue,

 I am very happy to be writing to you to let you know I have received my quilt. 

 It is such a shame about this current situation the world faces with covid19. I hope you and the family are healthy and mostly unaffected. I heard there may be a 'travel bubble' opened between Australia and New Zealand soon. If this eventuates I will very much like to travel there upon my return to Australia.

A little bit about me, I am in the RAAF and provide protection to aircraft and other ADF personnel under our protection. My job over here currently sees me flying regularly to all parts of the Middle East. Back at home where I'm based on the East Coast, it has some amazing beaches that i miss.

I am currently deployed on my 3rd deployment to the Middle East but had never received a quilt. It is great to come back to my bed and have a bit of colour and beach nostalgia. This quilt will definitely be with me long after this deployment ends and I can't thank you enough for the work you have put into it.

 

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Irene,

Thank you so much for putting the hard work into the amazing quilt you sent me, when I received it, I was jumping up and down with excitement and later had tears of happiness after seeing it because this knocks my expectations right out of the park over how amazing it is.

I am an Indigenous-Australian and am 20 years old. I'm from NSW and have spent the last seven years living there, went to high school and studied visual arts and photography and eventually became a freelance photographer towards the end of it. I had a series of photographs picked to go to the Museum of Modern Art in Brisbane, but I couldn't organise everything in time before I left to join the Army, so they are sitting at home. 

I have 5 brothers, and 5 sisters. Its a big family but most of us have grown up and eventually moved out and made families of our own. Not me thankfully, as I still have some 'living' to do as I like to put it. But I do have fur babies. A jack russell, who is a giant softy considering how small he is and a rescue cat. I enlisted into the Army in 2017 and it's been the best decision I've ever made, and I'll never ever look back on it.

 If anyone was to ask me what the perfect job is. Army it is.

Irene, once again, thank you so much for making me this quilt. I love every part of it and I intend to frame it and hang it on my wall when I get back home. I wish I had the words to describe to you how happy it makes me looking at it. It will hold a place in my heart and I will take exceptional care of it until I can have it framed. 

 I've been deployed since March and the days are only getting warmer and warmer, we have a brilliant air conditioner thankfully, however, a nice dip at the beach would be perfect right now!

 Your sincerely,

....

Dear Jenni,

 I am writing in appreciation of the laundry bags you've lovingly made and posted to me. We have handed them out to Soldiers who are deploying on the border checkpoints supporting NT POL and NT Health directions.

 I'm an officer looking after ADF logistic support to Operations COVID Assist in NT. I've prepared the Soldiers deploying by issuing them with equipment and preparing accommodation and rations for them, it gives me great pleasure now to 'issue' them with a bag full of love, thoughts, thanks and support from Aussie Hero volunteers.

I still have my own personalised laundry bag I received when I was in the Middle East and used frequently, I still take away on courses and deployments (such as now).


Your messages of love and support have been humbling, thanks again for making the effort to make and post them to us, it is greatly appreciated.

 P.S. opening laundry bag packages is the best part of my job! I truly enjoyed admiring your beautiful designs. 

Thank you,

....

 Dear Georgina,

 I hope you are well. In the last week I returned from an 8 month deployment. Whilst I was on deployment, I was lucky enough to receive a quilt that was made by you.

I want to say a big thank you for making my quilt for me. It is greatly appreciated and brought a big smile to my face when I received it. I especially love the bright colours of the fabric!

 My trip was quite long, where we had to deal with a lot of stressful situations, so I am glad that I am now back home. Due to our new COVID world, I have been in isolation since returning.

I am very much looking forward to getting home and seeing my partner and my goofy boxer. 

 Thank you again for all the quilts you make. I can say with confidence, that they bring a big smile and joy to all those that receive them.

Kind regards, P.S. I am not looking forward to coming back to a chilly winter!

....

Hi Pennie,

I hope this email finds you and your family safe and well back home despite the unpredictable circumstances that the COVID19 Pandemic has brought us. I figured a reply by email would arrive to you much quicker than by mail.

 Firstly, thank you SO much for the incredible quilt you have made - I absolutely love it! It's a fantastic tribute to the crows and the colours/motifs you've weaved into it just come together beautifully.

The quilt also provided a great morale boost at a time when I needed it most. The work you and the wider 'Aussie Hero Quilt and Laundry Bags' organisations do for serving members is remarkable and greatly appreciated.

 I'm currently deployed in the Middle East, as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. We arrived here shortly before the pandemic kicked off and subsequently have seen the threat rise and fall throughout the bases. It's definitely been a complex but rewarding challenge to work through.

 Meanwhile, further afield in the Middle East, it is definitely presenting a much bigger challenge to the local health system and it's hard to know the true extent. It's certainly eye-opening to gain insight into the hardship the locals continue to endure, yet maintain their resilience in pursuit of improved peace and security for their country. By contrast, it makes you realise how lucky we really are to live in a country like Australia. Thus, I feel honoured to be able to serve the nation and hopefully make a positive difference to the long-term success of other countries along the way.

 Wishing you good health, happiness and many successful quilt creations to come! 

Kind Regards



...

 Dear Gail,

Thank you for the quilt. This is my fourth deployment and it is my first quilt. It was also great to receive you letter. I know that COVID19 has had a large impact on family gatherings and social events. I hope things are slowly and cautiously getting back to normal.

At home, we have three beautiful children who are coping well with my absence. I have been deployed to the Middle East since January and expect to be home in the next few months. So not long to go now.

When I get home, we will start preparing for an interstate move, where I will be taking command of a Battalion. I will cherish my quilt, it has already added a welcome splash of colour to my very Spartan accommodation. My work here results in me travelling regularly. It is really nice to come home back to the accommodation and see such a colourful reminder of home. After all, the reason we are here is to ensure our country stays safe. It reminds me of our purpose here, which can sometimes get lost due to day to day frustrations.

Thank you again for the quilt. Unfortunately our outbound mail system has been impacted by COVID and it is difficult to send physical letters.

 Regards,

   ....

  Dear Sally,

Thank you very much for the quilt. It is amazing. I had an image of the quilt in my mind but the end result is so much better than I expected. You did a great job with the BIG QUILTING machine!

 I have been here now for over 5 months and am looking forward to coming home to see my family. I miss my kids a lot. I left Australia before there was a single case of COVID19 and since I have gone, Australia and most of the world has gone into quarantine. It has been very trying and tiring over here as our workload increased by probably 2 fold dealing with new restriction laws that were being implemented back at home and locally, ensuring we had appropriate supplies and planning in place to deal with the pandemic. It has been really hard.. and yet I really appreciate being part of it. Being part of a team which is playing an important role of a much bigger 'machine',

I understand the weather back home has been very cold this year. It has been extremely hot here. I cannot recall a day in the last month where the maximum temperature got below 40. And it is only going to get hotter before I leave. But I appreciate the opportunity to serve my country and the support we all get from home just makes things so much easier. Thank you again for your time and effort you put into making this beautiful quilt for me and support you provide to the Australian Defence Force. It is very much appreciated.

I wish you and your family all the best. 

Thank you again.

....

To whom it may concern,

Thank you for my laundry bag. It is a great reminder of why we do what we do (I believe that is being lost over the years). It is a wonderful way to let us hang our dirty and clean laundry. 

I am on HMAS Hobart and the long hours drain on a man, but the colour and thoughtfulness from home, it makes it a little easier to stomach.

After our deployment I plan to ask my sweetheart to marry me and I will tell her of the kindness and generosity of the Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags.

Thank you again.

 ....

 Hi Ellen,

Once again I just wanted to say thank you very much for the quilt. You absolutely nailed the beach theme and kelpie silhouette is just perfect.

As I write this, I am coming to the end of my deployment. By the time you receive this, I will be either in isolation or back home with my dog.

I hope that you have been keeping safe during COVID. I believe that the border between NSW and VIC is open. My folks are coming to visit after I get back. As will my brother and sister-in-law from interstate. So we'll have the whole family together which I'm really looking forward to. I hope you have managed to get some family time in during lock down.

Once again, thank you again so much for my quilt. It really put a smile on my face and gave me a huge lift in morale for what has been a long challenging and uncertain, yet rewarding deployment.

Best wishes to you and your family.

.... 

Dear Lyn,

I was fortunate enough to receive a quilt from you, from the Aussie Hero Quilts. I am absolutely in love with it, I have never had a quilt made for me before. It was green with an Australian Flora and Fauna theme. Better than I could have envisioned or made myself for that matter. I want to thank you for that, and for the amount of effort that was put into it, for a stranger.

I am posted to the Northern Territory as a Clerk. I have been in the Army for 3-5 years. Prior to joining the Army, I studied nursing and got my Diploma. I only intended to join the Army for a year, but I guess I stayed a bit longer. I had had many opportunities whilst being enlisted, from field exercises to now being deployed.

I grew up in NSW. My family owned a cattle farm, so I can understand the troubles the drought is bringing to dry land farmers. It is very unfortunate. This year is definitely already becoming one for the history books. Ranging from bush fires, flood and this corona virus which is disrupting everything.

I am proud to be from Australia and happy to serve for it. Watching the Aus community band together raising funds for the bush fire affected. Seeing our country burn, the amount of wildlife destroyed, truly breaks my heart. But the volunteers who fought it and the evident community support really does show hope.


I have missed the brunt of the Corona Virus chaos in Australia by being here. We are still affected, but in different ways. Fortunately, we have not been impacted by the toilet paper deficiencies!

I definitely prefer warm weather too. Being in the NT, it is warm all the time. To be fair, it is humid in the wet season but at least I don't have to pull out a jumper. Coming over here was a shock to the system as it was winter, and I haven't had one in 2 years.

I had planned to do some travelling this year when I got back. However, that will need to be delayed. i heard travel restrictions will be in place for overseas travel until 2023! Alas, there are still places in Australia I feel the need to visit.

Anyway, I would like to thank you again for your kindness in making this lovely quilt for me. Lastly, thank you for your well wishes. I am sending good wishes back to you and your family especially in these uncertain times.

Sincerely

....

Good Morning Bridget,

 May I start by thanking you very much for my laundry bag, it is awesome! It arrived just at the perfect time too as my old one was on its last legs. I am currently in isolation in NSW after 7 months in the Middle East. Its nice to be back in Australia and be able to switch off. 

 Once again, I would like to thank you for all the effort and time you put into making the bag. I know all the boys overseas with me were very grateful to receive their bags as well. It's a great service you are doing and you should be very proud. Take care and all the best in the future.

....

 Hello Susan,

I'm not even sure how to start but I will with a huge THANK YOU to you and your family for my incredible quilt. It is honestly the most detailed and perfect thing. I have ever received and am truly grateful for the effort and thought you've put into the quilt. I just can't stop smiling and showing everyone. I will treasure this for a lifetime.

I follow AHQ on Facebook and love to see how high your spirits all are as you continue to selflessly support us through your creativity and skills.

 ANZAC Day will indeed be a different experience but it is humbling to know there are alternative plans and our community are still remembering those who have gone before us in their own special ways. We will endeavour to the same, in line with our current restrictions. Keep an eye on the 'Australian Defence Force in the Middle East' on Facebook page for updates.

 A little bit about me. I am 26, and as quilt gives away, I am here with the E-7A Wedgetail crew. My role includes keeping an eye on and administering our flying crew, maintenance and intelligence personnel. We have an incredibly capable, dedicated and just all round good bunch of people here, who all work very hard. I could not be prouder of the work we do and it makes me smile that you all support us from back home. This is by far the best and most rewarding role I have been given throughout my career. It's a pretty cool plane too!

 I have been in for about eight years now and have been fortunate enough to deploy twice (once back in 2015). I have a civilian fiance and two dogs patiently waiting for my return. I've been with my Squadron from the start of 2019 and will be there until I am posted elsewhere in Jan 2022.

 Thank you so much again for your kind gesture and great skill. I am still smiling from ear to ear. I hope this reaches you well.

....

G'day Kathy,

I just wanted to touch base by email to say that I've just received your amazing quilt! I'm putting it to good use straight away and it has brightened my dull little room.

Email is a lot quicker than the mail at the moment but I will definitely reply to your lovely card which is taking pride of place on my desk at the moment, but rest assured, that when I sent a photo of it to my wife and read your card, she got very emotional - job done!

 Thanks again for all the hard work you put into this and other quilts you've made for deployed folk, it really does give us a morale boost.

 


 ....
Hello Ann,

 Today I was very blessed to receive your laundry bag (the one displaying cats).

 It was lovely to read your letter and a bit about yourself as to how you became involved with Aussie Hero Quilts. The box of quilts arrived here in NT this this week and it is warmly received by all members currently working Operation COVID-19 Assist. I, myself, have been with the operation since inception in March this year and likely to be with this for many more months to come. I can guarantee your laundry bag will definitely get some use.

 I am from West Australia and originally originated from farming district. My journey started with Defence in 1982 as a young Army Apprentice Motor Mechanic and that journey has taken me to many places within Australia and around the world. In this instance, I am currently posted to NT of which I really enjoy very much.

Please pass on my thanks to everyone in the sewing group for their wonderful efforts with these wonderful gifts. I can imagine that each time you all get together there would be plenty of merriment and laughter. It means a lot to Defence members when they receive acknowledgement that their efforts in supporting our citizens and our country are appreciated. I personally have been involved in the 2011 QLD Flood and 2017 Operation Cyclone Debbie in QLD and in every occasion, it's the support of the public that makes us want to be there to help whenever we are needed.

 Once again, thank you for the lovely gift. Kind regards,

....

Dear Sue,

I am writing in appreciation of the laundry bags you've lovingly made and posted to me. We have handed them out to Soldiers who are deploying on the border checkpoints, supporting NT POL and NT Health directions. I've prepared the Soldiers deploying by issuing them with equipment and preparing accommodation and rations for them, it gives me great pleasure now to 'issue' them with a bag full of love, thoughts, thanks and support from the Aussie Hero team.

I still have my own personalised laundry bag I received when I was in the Middle East and used frequently, I still take it away on courses and deployments (such as now). Your message of love and support have been humbling, thanks again for making the effort to make and post them to us, it is greatly appreciated. Thank You.

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Hi Lesley,

First of all, a huge thank you for making me such an awesome quilt. I really love it and it looks absolutely fantastic. I also genuinely feel honoured to receive such a gesture of effort from those like yourself who devote their time and energy to the Aussie Hero cause.

Those of us here who have been fortunate enough to receive a quilt display them proudly on our bunks, and mine is no different as you can see in the accompanying photo. You've really hit it out of the park with your design. It has certainly brought some much needed colour to a normally bland bedroom.

 I am originally from South Australia and was lucky enough to be offered a chance to post to NSW to work aboard the E-7A Wedge-tail. I'm enjoying my sweet slice of East Coast lifestyle, but mostly appreciate having the opportunity to work amongst the great people my Squadron, and being able to fly on one of the most technologically advanced platforms the RAAF has ever had.

 Thanks again, for the awesome quilt (truly spectacular effort). I think what you are doing for us over here is truly fantastic and inspiring. Keep up the great work.

Sincerely,

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Dear Rita,

Just touching base and sending you a little thank you.

Hope you are doing well. I am doing well, staying out of the hot weather though!

 Thank you,

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Good Morning Jo,

Thank you for the laundry bag, it's amazing. I thank you for your continued support to Australian Defence personnel. It has been quite the experience in these trying times with Covid-19 but i'm thoroughly enjoying the experience of being overseas. 

Thank you for your time and effort and I look forward to get back to Australia for some rest in the next few months, and hopefully I get some good fishing in and take a trip away from work and technology and spoil my wife of under 1 year for her continued patience and support of my career.

Sorry for the late reply, it has been very busy over here the last few months.

Thanks so much again, it has been a great help doing my laundry here and to be quite frank, its the best laundry bag in the Middle East.

 Kind Regards,

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From the Facebook page: 'Good Evening. I would like to say a big thank you for sending me a quilt. It looks amazing',



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My dearest Heroes,

 How can I possibly put into words the heartfelt gratitude I have for all of your and everything you do. When my dear friend asked me whilst deployed if I would like to put a request for an 'Aussie Hero Quilt' my heart stopped beating for a moment as it was just another part of my military career dreams coming true. I had always followed the amazing work you have done and I recall hearing of friends returning to Australia with their quilt and I never dreamed that I would ever be lucky enough to receive one of my very own. When I finally arrived home, there it was, and I was... speechless.

There is so much I would love to tell you about my deployment, but what I will say to keep it short and sweet is that it was very tumultuous and frankly not at all what I expected. It was both the scariest and the most rewarding experience of my life. With all the events that unfolded between November and now I spent almost everyday living with uncertainty; it became my new normal and although grateful to be home safe, there isn't a moment that goes by that I don't miss it and miss the wonderful connections I made. This quilt brought me so much happiness. I wish I could've received it while I was still there butt mail was too uncertain to risk losing it. When I heard it arrived home I wanted desperately to see it, but thankfully Jan-Maree shared with me some lovely advice, that seeing it in photos wouldn't do it the justice it deserved, so I listened, and I waited.

Thinking of opening that package was one of the few things that brought a smile to my face during a long and torturing quarantine. When I finally arrived home, opening it was one of the first things I did and I genuinely cried. It was just so beautiful and I cannot believe the effort that CPO H put into it. It is without a doubt absolutely perfect. I couldn't have imagined it better in my mind. Your choice of materials, colours and placement is phenomenal. The anchors were just the cherry on top! I often catch myself looking at it, and just touching it. Every time I do think of my time over there and think of all my friends, some who have gone home to their respective countries and others that still remain. When I look at it, I feel closer to them, which really helps. This quilt is by far one of the most special gifts I have ever received and I am absolutely honoured. Sincerely, thank you so much.

 I was even more pleased when I read the letter, to see that another long-serving Navy sister was responsible for such a magnificent piece of art brought me so much joy, and to see that another long-time friend and respected colleague had input into its design blew me away. Thank you sincerely for the personal letter, I was thrilled to hear of your Middle Eastern deployment and even more thrilled to hear you're currently posted to my previous base - you still have the best view - something I imagine we enjoy in common after seeing not much more than beige and sand for the longest time. I certainly hope I get the privilege of decorating a rack again one day with this quilt. It was hard to take off the green and don the DPNUs again, but I'm definitely a sailor to my core and belong by the water with my Navy family.

 If there is one thing I will take from this deployment it is certainly not to take anything for granted. Things change so quickly over there. Whom ever would have thought that while things change so rapidly there, that our home and the rest of the world would change so drastically too. It was hard not getting to go on my long-planned holiday and going extra unanticipated time without seeing my loved ones, this still continues with the difficulties in Victoria, but I have never been more thankful for this beautiful country and the beautiful people in it like all of you. We don't realise how lucky we are sometimes, this deployment opened my eyes, and I'm eternally grateful that I had the opportunity and as a result am now the proud owner of this quilt.

From the bottom of my heart - thank you so much for everything you do, I am forever grateful - please be safe, take care of yourselves and your families during this trying time. If there is ever anything I can do to be of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out.

 Sincerely.


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Hello Ruth,
I was lucky enough to receive a quilt and wash bag made by you, and I can't begin to explain how beautiful they both are. Thank you so very much, I really appreciate them, so very talented.

Thank you for doing this for all the deployed troops, it's such a morale booster. Everyone gets so excited when they talk about Aussie Hero Quilts. We all appreciate the time and effort that goes into making these beautiful pieces. So thank you so much, I hope you're doing well back home and staying safe.

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Until next time, friends, stay well and happy stitching!

Alex :)


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