Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Grati-Tuesday 13 October 2020

What a great bunch of messages... I hope you enjoy them as much as I did preparing this week's Grati-Tuesday!

See you next week! Until, then... Keep up the happy work friends, and don't forget to like, comment or share! Thanks Alex x

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Hi Joy,

I recently received the quilt you made for me, thank you very much for all your effort and your excellent craftsmanship, the quilt looks great. I appreciate the time you have taken to make this quilt and the support that you are providing to Defence members like myself, your effort does make a difference and doesn't go unnoticed. 

I have the quilt on my bed and it has really added some badly needed colour to a very bland and boring room. I have been deployed since the start of this year and have a little while remaining until I go home, my wife can't wait for me to get back, she has really missed my company, as I have missed hers.

Once again, thank you Joy for your time and effort. Your quilt has made my deployment a little better and brought some memories from home. 

Regards.

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Good Afternoon Sue,

Thank you very much for the lovely quilt and laundry bag. They look absolutely brilliant, and my rack (bed) now has some envious looks directed at it!

I joined the Navy to be at Sea, and have completed 7 going on 8 years at sea! I have my home in South Australia overlooking the sea. It has a long history in my family, and a significant part of my life!

I work with Communications in the Navy.  I am a Supervisor on a Patrol boat.
As a smaller boat, we have less crew so my role is very diverse and can be interesting. Broadly speaking, I am responsible for communications on and off the boat, the IT systems on-board and much of the security concerns on-board. Patrol boats tend to do a lot of coastal operations in both Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. I have had quite some nice visits to countries in SE Asia and the South Pacific, have been to some tense areas and have patrolled most of Australia's coast from Western Australia to Queensland.

A bit about my career; I joined the Navy in 2011 and like all sailors spent my first posting at HMAS Cerebus in Victoria. I have served several years in Western Australia prior to joining Patrol boats. In that time, I served on HMAS Perth (III), ANZAC Class Frigate. My travels on Perth also took me to New Zealand, America, Asia, Victoria and my first trip to the Northern Territory. We also deployed as part of the search for MH370 in 2014. This was followed by, after a while working ashore, my posting to Northern Territory in 2016, where I have been ever since. 

I have always enjoyed traditional sailing, and think it is a great way to encourage teamwork, leadership and character development skills, and even giving opportunities to youth to demonstrate no small amount of courage and skill at various tasks - from climbing the masts to handle sails to applying mathematics to safely navigate the ship! It's certainly a valuable and worthwhile skill. 

Thanks again for the quilt and laundry bag (we call them dhobey bags). They are both greatly appreciated and I admire the quality of work you have put into them both!

Stay safe in these interesting times. 

Fair Winds and Following Seas.

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Good Morning Susan,

I have been so amazingly privieleged to have the pleasure of handling out about two and a half thousand laundry bags to our soldiers, sailors and air men and women. I get a buzz every time and they love the bags so much. Many of them are saying they won't use their bags because it's 'TOO GOOD!'. A couple I know have been framed. When I opened your parcel this morning I had to laugh and thank you for the extra touch of sewing a mask to each of the bags.

This is just a short note to say 'thank you' and all the ladies have done an amazing job. I hope and pray this pandemic will soon be relegated to the annuls of history and we can recover. In the meantime, so many people are hurting in all sorts of ways and I trust it won't be too long and we can recover and move forward.

Thanks again. Your generosity is very much appreciated and I know those who receive them tomorrow morning will love them too.

Please have a great weekend.

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Good Morning Aussie Hero Quilts and Yvonne,

I wanted to send a massive thank you for the quilt I recently received from AHQ. The arrival of the quilt was a complete surprise as I am not currently deplioyed with the ADF. My wife, requested a quilt for me, as I had previously deployed and have completed 30 years of service this year. I am humbled to be selected to receive a quilt which was made by Yvonne. I would like to thank her for her accompanying letter that was sent with the quilt. It was really nice to hear about her life.

I am totally wrapped in the quilt design, and love that my rank, name and employee ID are on the quilt. The addition of the Star Wars, Marvel comic, RAAF aircraft, and RAAF emblem and my details are amazing.

I am grateful for all the work you do to support the ADF and I know from personal experience and that of my wife, who was deployed in 2018, and received a quilt while over in the Middle East Region, the sense of happiness and gratitude, on receiving a quilt, is a real spirit lifter.

This year has been extremely diffiult for so many people throughout the world, especially, with all of the isolation and restrictions in place. Receiving my quilt was a really great and positive input into my 'mental health' bank and I thank you for that. The quilt, my wife and I have, take pride of place in our home and something we will cherish always.

The amazing work you do cannot be overstated - the lifting of spirits for those ADF members who receive your gifts is immeasurable.

Thank you.

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Toni,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the laundry bag you made.

It is both beautiful in it's artistry, the technique level of detail and a wonderful way to bring together many of the things which are important to me whilst in deployment environment. I also have a friend who has been involved in producing quilts, and I understand the level of hidden work in a creation such as this. I truly appreciate your commitment in providing this to me.

A little bit about me. My day job is busy, with my specialisation in Emergency Nursing. I started work in emergency departments in 1994. I currently fill a Senior Clinical Nursing role in the Adult Emergency Department at a hospital, where we see over 65,000 people per year. I have been in the RAAF as a specialist Reservist for the past 15 years. Many years ago I did 6 years as an Army truck driver (Reservist).

I enjoy the work which I perform in the RAAF and how different to my civilian practice. When we set up field hospitals we do so with 60 staff, and every member helps built the tens and fit out the hospital. This is totally different to my civilian work where I have upto 160 staff just on my nursing roster.

The small team work in RAAF is very different, and I enjoy this. The smallest team I have worked in is myself and 3 others when we were supporting the set up of a RAAF 'bare base' (a base which is not usually staffed) in Western Australia. The variable nature ofthe RAAF work has helped me keep the balance in my day job.

I have 2 kelpies which are very involved in keeping interested, exercising and mentally challenging. My wife and I purchased a small farm in 2013. Running our breeding cattle there, caring for the land, establishing infrastructure and a small orchard.

I am so pleased you produced my laundry bag. 

Thank you again.

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Hello Toni,

Thank you for the laundry bag that I received a few months ago, it has been a constant addition to my cabin since I received it.

As a ship we have been deployed for a significant part of the year, and having something like this does actually go a long way to make our time away more enjoyable. I'm especially happy that you and your fellow members of Aussie Hero Quilts have extended this offer to Patrol Boat Crews, as in my belief they have been somewhat of the forgotten deployed members of the ADF. As a whole, Patrol Boat sailors are deployed for a significant part of each year. Often at short notice and without a certain date of return, which can make it challenging. 

But this extension of your incredible generosity of time, material and effort go a long way to showing the guys up here that their efforts are appreciated. And for that I thank you both for your gift to me, and as a whole to the rest of the fellow sailors up here.

Once again, I am sorry it has taken me so long to thank you, but this gift is hugely appreciated and it will be treasured.
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Dear Gayle,

I just wanted to send an email to say thank you so much for the beautiful quilt that you made for me. I think that you absolutely nailed the design brief and love the link that you made to the poem.

I've been in the Air Force for seven years now and this is my second deployment to the Middle East. I'm currently in a role that has me working as a US embed. I'm originally from Victoria where the rest of my family live, however; since joining defence, I've lived in ACT for 5 years and now reside in South Australia with my girfriend who is also in the Air Force.

COVID has made this deployment more difficult than normal, with mail taking longer to arrive, face masks having to be worn majority of the time and unfortunately we won't be getting a break despite it looking like we'll be getting our trip extended this time. 

It's the little things, like your quilt, that help make the current situation a little nicer and ensure that we're not forgotten about.

I appreciate all that you do, not only to help bring a smile to my face but also to the many other deployed military personnel.

Thank you again. 
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Dear Robyn,

You must be thinking who this is is emailing you. Well, I am a 22 year old male in the Australian Army. I am currently in Asia and have been since earlier this year and I was fortunate enough to receive this amazing laundry bag and letter - which I might add that is extremely well written.

 I just wanted to get in touch in order to send my thanks for the laundry bag, and let you know how useful it has been - especially because I had forgotten my own!

It was so good to read a little bit about your life, so I thought I might share a little about mine. I am originally from South Australia, however, am now living in Northern Territory. I joined the full time Australian Army as an Artilleryman in 2018 - it has been a rewarding experience. I also study a Bachelor of Commerce online and absolutely love it!

This year has been a crazy year with the pandemic, I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. 

Lastly, thank you so much for your generosity, it was greatly appreciated.

Regards.
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Hi Thelma,

I am writing to you via email as I'm not sure how long snail mail will take, or even if it will reach you as it's quite unreliable at the moment with COVID.

Thank you so much for St. Clare quilt and your letter. It can sometimes feel so far away from home but your quilt arrived yesterday just in time for me to watch my team play. The quilt lies proudly over my chair in my room and it is great to come home to.  

Thank you so much for the time you've taken to make the quilt. It really helps with homesickness and is a very nice reminder of home. 

Many thanks again, you're a legend.


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G'day Sheena,

Thank you so much for my fabulous quilt, it arrived today. 

On behalf of current and former ADF members, I would pass on our appreciation for your efforts and continued support. It truly does put a smile on an old soldiers face knowing there are people that still care and love our great country.

Regards.

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Hello Anne,

I am from New South Wales and I am a reciepent of one of your laundry bags. I was recently deployment with the purpose of Border control where we worked hand in hand with the State Police at 4 checkpoints. 

Members of the community had been overwhelmingly supportive, as you have and there was always delicious food and sweet treats provided to us all, as well as these bags, that show your support.

 I work as an Avionics Technician but have recently taken the plunge into the officer world. Deployment is not something new to me as I've toured four times to the Middle East and it hasn't been easy for my family. I have been blessed greatly with my family because wherever I go they are just so supportive.

I have been married for 29 years and have six children. My wife recently graduated as a registered nurse and works full time. Nursing has been a long time dream of which she has fully immersed herself in.

My eldest son, is married, and he is currently an enrolled Nurse and works at the same hospital as his mum. His wife works in disabilities. My eldest daughter, has almost completed her nursing degree.
My next son works in IT support and next daughter has finished school last year and is working out what she wants to do.

My second youngest is in Year 12 and is doing a School Based Apprenticeship where they choose a career to studt at TAFE one evening, working one paid shift a week at a participating workplace. He has chosen nursing (go figure) and our youngest is in Year 9 and enjoys robotics and gaming.

It's nice to know that there are people out there that are supportive of the Defence Force and I want you to know that we appreciate the effort of the public to make our lives a little better.

Thank you so much for the laundry bag and yes I did use it. It will come in handy for me in times to come on future courses and deployments.

God bless you.
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Dear Julie,

Thank you so much for the lovely laundry bag - it's perfect! Last time I deployed in 2015/16 I received a laundry bag with Thomas the Tank Engine on it. My son was 3 months old when I left.  I deployed this time with my second son being 4 months old. Winnie the Pooh was a favourite of mine, my wife's and our eldest, so no doubt this will be loved just as much.

We have been watching COVID updates from back home, but we haven't been too adversely effected over here where I am, but it's all a matter of perspective. We are fortunate to still be employed, to have a purpose and community. Not everyone at home is so lucky.

Thank you for your support. It meas a great deal.

Stay safe and all the best.

Kind Regards.
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Dear Toni,

Firstly thank you very much for my absolutely beautiful handmade laundry bag. It made my office and I cry. I was so surprised my sister had organised this, an extra special surprise. I am very close to my nieces and have missed them so very much. 

You are very talented and I love the colours and poppies. I am to re-teach myself during quarantine in Australia, when my mum drops her sewing machine off.

Everyone here gets such joy from receiving an Aussie Hero Quilt. Everyone gathers around to check out the unique designs. We all thank you for taking the time to create these all for us and you should be very proud of the outstanding work that you all do to put smiles on our faces. We are so grateful. 

I love gardening but we get sent away all the time so I am forever getting my family to look after my plants. My mum is not the best at keeping them alive but she does her best. It's just an excuse to go plant shopping when I return home. The bush fires were so scary and so devastating. My partner is an Engineer in the Army and he got deployed to turn the sea into fresh water. I had lots of sleepless nights worrying about him as he would send me photos of the huge flames coming his way. 2020 has been very challenging for the whole world. I can only wish that the world begins to heal in time for Christmas.

A little about myself, I have just turned 30 years old and was lucky enough to have a Birthday celebration deployed where the Commander and her team put on a cake for me. Very rare and special to  have such important people come to my birthday. It made it special during a pandemic in another country whilst deployed. 

I have a partner and 2 beautiful dogs, a Siberian Husky and a Red Cattle Dog. My partner and I posted to Queensland last year where we are finally back in our home towns. We have been lucky enough to be posted back with our families and it has been great.

Prior to the Army, I worked nights and weekends as an Events Coordinator and the day as an Early Childhood Lead Educator. I made the change to Logistics in the Army when I was 23 and I have been busy with a whole new lifestyle since.

Once again, thank you for dedicating your time and fabric to put a smile on our faces. It means so much to receive these beautiful creations. Also, for the beautiful letter, I have loved hearing your life story, it is very inspiring.

I wish you all the best during the Pandemic, and only hope that you and your family stay safe.

Many thanks
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Pennie,

The quilt arrived a few weeks ago now but I havent been able to articulate just how incredible it is in a way that would do it justice.

Firstly, the way you encapsulated all the completely different themes and ideas and combine them in a way that both ties in, made sense and presently so perfectly, shows just how clever, creative and talented you really are. 

After a few mentally and physically challenging obstacles this year, having someone make something so personal is just priceless. I know it is just the morale boost he urgently needs so I will forever be thankful for your kindess, talent and time.

In his 15+ years of service, this is his first quilt, and comes at a time in his life where it really will add the most value and importance. I know the next chapter of ihs career, this will carry forward in his highlight reel. 

Thank you again, for all the imagination, time and energy you have put into this to produce an outstanding (and personally my favourite I've seen) quilt. I can't thank you enough.

Keep doing what you do, and thank you from the absolute bottom of my heart.

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Dear Robyn,

I have just returned to base after completing the Chaplain Initial Course to find your beautiful gift, on behalf of yourself and Aussie Hero Quilts, waiting for me. Here I am, Chaplain in the RAAF.

Thank you!

You have chosen well with the fabrics and praying hands motif. 

Once again, many thanks for your beautiful gift, and for all your prayers for and support of our ADF members. I know from comments I have heard how touched and impacted they are by the quilts and laundry bags they receive.

With many blessings.
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Hi Jan-Maree,

You remain a person of such inspiration and your care and kindess is explemary. 

Life has been amazing for me in the role of Chaplain in deployment. I can honestly say I have loved it. The whole experience is beyond belief! The value and contribution I've been able to have has been more than compensation for the pressure and tiredness I've experienced on occasions. We are so well looked after here there really isn't anything to complain about. But fatigue and strain of being away from loved ones and in constant communal living for the troops takes its toll on them. Many are lonely and just need a friendly face and a reassuring conversation to keep them going.

Without any hesitation I can say your amazing quilts and laundry bags play a significant part in helping members through their deployment. I see them on display on the beds.. much more they are used as wall hangings to brighten up personal space in rooms and more importantly again is the emotional connection those quilts have with their owners. Each one has a story attached and draws out the memories and the loves of the individuals, which enables conversations  to naturally flow and provides insights into them as people with a story to share. 

I wish I could properly capture this bond that is formed by the love expressed in each and every quilt and special bag for it's owner by your amazing team of quilters. Please do pass on my love and appreciation to them. 

My time over here is fast drawing to a close but I know my replacement is lovely, and will do an amazing job over here.

Thanks again to you and your team.

May God bless and keep you in his loving care.

Regards.

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Hi Carmel,

I am a Corporal, and member of the Royal Australian Air Force. I've recently been deployed to Operation COVID-19 Assist. When we first arrived in New South Wales, we were all told about Aussie Heroes and were each given a laundry bag to keep. 

I was given the one that you made and would just like to say thank you very much for putting the time in to make and donate it for ADF members like me.

I actually didn't bring a laundry bag with me and it has been extremely helpful in keeping my room in order, as well as making the process of doing my washing easier. I'm currently living at a Navy base and will be for the next few weeks / months.

I'm an Air Survelliance Operator and my main role is helping to train Officers conducting Air Battle Management of fighter aircraft.

I have a wife at home and two little boys who are 4 and 2 years old.

Thanks again for dedicating your time to help ADF members while deployed on Operations, I will use it for many years to come.
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Dear Leslie,

I would like to take a chance and say a huge Thank you for making my beautiful quilt. When I received your parcel it's literally made my day and I actually like more crest instead of ensign, so you did a perfect job.

Love all the details and great colour choice as well. Tell you what, when I am back home my two boys 11 and 8 will argue on which bed this quilt is going to be on.

I really appreciate what you all do at Aussie Hero Quilts for all of the Australian's who are doing their duties while being away from home.

It's very special to receive some beautiful gifts when you are so far away from home and your family. I wish you all the best for you and your family and keep sewing the happiness.

Thank you so much.
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Dear Marianne,

I would like to thank you very much for your kind words and the wonderful gift.

It is an honour to serve in the Australian Army as a Chaplain and I am sure I will be able to put the laundry bag to good use during my time of service in the Australian Defence Force.

I will take some time this afternoon to have a look at the blog.

Sincerely,








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