Grati -Tuesday 14th September 2021

Written by ahq_admin

14 September 2021

                                                                   Tuesday Friends! 

What a wonderful lot of thank you letters we have to read in this post. I love these small glimpse into the lives of those we send the quilts and laundry bags to, and find I am so inspired and in awe each and every week to the talent you all bring to our recipients.

      Enough from me, hope you enjoy the read!

….

Hi Beverley,

Thank you so much for my quilt. It arrived in the mail today. Love the bright colours and the women in uniform print. Was a lovely surprise today.

My dad passed away 18 months ago, and it certainly does make you want to make the most of everyday. It’s quite hard to be away for so long from your family but we’re making the most of our time here too. We’ve been quite busy vaccinating everyone against COVID19 and time is going quite quickly. Only a few months to go.

Your quilt will definitely brighten up my room to help me get through the remaining time.

Thanks again.

….

Dear Bridget,

Thank you for the laundry bag. I enjoyed reading your letter, as it gave me some time to let my mind wander from the other aspects of my daily routine at sea. 

I am onboard HMAS ANZAC and we are doing a deployment to maintain Australia’s borders and patrol our partners and allies waters from other nations.

I enjoyed reading about your family and life. I joined the Navy to do Communications and Information Technology. I talk and coordinate with other ships and nations and maintain the information network and computer systems on board the ship.

Due to the high tempo and limited internet connectivity the ship gets at my work it has been hard to get this thank you email out, but I greatly appreciate the laundry bag and please thank Diana for the quilt. I love it very much.

Thank you

….

Good Afternoon Kerry,

I am emailing you to say thank you so much for the quilt you created for me. It left me speechless. It was beautiful and just perfect.

We were told to write down what we wanted and the only thing I could think of was home. The way you designed my quilt was bang on the money. It was exactly what I envisioned and more.

I am so grateful for the effort you went to and the minor details in it. My favourite things about are the different coloured tiles. It’s just so earthy and has all the colours of WA. I love the wine bottles (for Margaret River where I always go with my girlfriends), the whale shark (for Ningaloo Reef – a place I go with my family), just everything about it reminded me about the amazing memories and I can’t help but smile when I look at this quilt – YOU did this Kerry!

The day I got the parcel everyone else had received parcels from their families and I hadn’t. So I was very grateful to have something to open and I can’t express enough how beautiful it is. My bunk buddy actually asked to swap quilts with me. 

This one was a ship favourite! I will be putting this quilt in my future children’s nursery / bedrooms.

Thank you so much. This trip has been really hard because of our restrictions and small things like this are what really matters because it’s the things that make us happy.

I appreciate the letter along with the quilt – I am so thankful you chose to make mine.

The world needs more people like you!

Thank you

….

Hi Everyone,

In late June, I was privileged and happy to hand over an AHQ to a 27 year veteran and his lovely family. They currently live in NSW where I was visiting.

His quilt came about through a meeting between his wife, and a friend at Hospital. After a discussion a plan was put in place to surprise him with a quilt. He had been deployed 4 time and has been assisting with flood relief.

After consultation between his wife and myself, a design was worked out. Keryn did the wonderful embroideries. His greatest passions are his family, his work and the Canberra Raiders. The quilt includes his children’s names, service patches and Raiders colours and emblem. Months later the dates aligned, and I met the Veteran and his lovely family, and presented his quilt at their home. He was very surprised and very pleased, as it happened, he had his Raiders track top on that day. 

His wife and I had been anxious that lockdowns, or him being sent away, but that morning was a big success. It was a very special time as we chatted about work, family and AHQ. A wonderful moment to present a quilt to such a dedicated serving member.

Cheers

….

Hi there,

I am writing my thank you letter almost a year from the day of receiving one of your beautiful sewn laundry bags sent to WA for OP Resolute 99. First I’d like to thank you for your service of 15 years in the ADF and the service you continue to provide to fellow ADF members that are currently in service. 

I thank you as well for teaching me what it means to be Australian. To be able to take the lead and bring people together towards a cause that lets us know that besides our families other Australians are also thinking of us.

I am certain that like myself, many other ADF members thought of this whenever we saw and used those laundry bags and quilts for those that received them. I believe part of courage comes from remembering those moments if not all.

I was born in the Middle East and fled to Australia in 2004 with my family as refugees. Year 7 was one of the best childhood experience of my life after settling in and seeing how good life is here. As like most teenagers, I went through the challenges of high school and culture clash which made me get off the track through my early adult life. It was always in the back of my mind to join the ADF. First as an Airforce pilot, but I soon realised that me and my family were in no position to find financial support, so I set my goal for Army. After being on the verge of getting banned from joining the ADF due to my misbehaviours. I had to choose a better life in the end.

I enlisted into the Army Reserves in 2018, finished all my IETs within 6 months and was posted to my unit. Many outside of Army would always ask if I was treated equally, but no one knew that I only regretted not joining earlier. The Defence Force truly does stand for it’s core values, the Army core values of Respect, Teamwork, Courage, and Initiative was something I had longed for. Our diversity in the Defence Force, just like our diverse society is bringing more capabilities to the ADF and help in serving our nations interests whether it’s through overseas deployment, border security or working within Australia.

2020 was the start of a new way of living life with lockdowns and social distancing, most people in Australia and around the world had to adjust to a new ways and approaches. It was also a time that the whole of Defence Force was called upon a lot and the questions, we were all asking was how can we contribute to make this better. In these moments, I saw the good in our nature as humans and as Australians coming together to help stop the spread of COVID right after dealing with the disaster of bushfires. These Defence members have my thanks for their effort, service and hard work.

In the lead up to OP Resolute 99, I was a reserve member meaning that if someone dropped then I would take their place. As part of the reserve contract it was compulsory that I was there until the last week when suddenly two members dropped out 6 days before deploying.

It was a hectic few days sorting out paperwork, rentals and moving my stuff back to my parents. Amongst those stuff I moved, I had put the letters which came with the laundry bags and for a long time I thought that they were lost. Today, after finding them, I was very excited to write back to you to say my thanks for the laundry bag. This is one of those moments, where we can say better late than never, and again thank you for the gift that reminded us of home when we were away and the great work you and all the lovely volunteers are doing.

Kind Regards.

….

Hi,

Thank you so much for the laundry bag. Much appreciated. Hope you, your husband and kids are doing well, and you haven’t been too affected with COVID situation.

Regards.

….

Thank you so much for the work that you do on the quilts and laundry bags. 

I have received my bag and absolutely love it.

….

Dearest Jacqui,

First word – overwhelmed. I cannot thank you enough for such a wonderful job you have done with my quilt. ‘Storm at sea’. It is truly magnificent and exceeded my expectations by far. You have most definitely improved on my crude design.

The effort this took too is quite incredible really. Backwards and forwards between you, Jan-Maree and Keryn. You have all really gave above and beyond and for that I am most grateful. It is certainly bringing me joy as you had hoped and it is wonderful to be appreciated by people back home.

I am just about to conclude my command of Australian forces in the Middle East and return to the ACT. I have so much enjoyed this job being among sailors, soldiers and aviators everyday. They are talented, hardworking, smart and great ambassadors for Australia. Our country should be very proud of what our service women and men achieve and very proud of the people themselves. I am. I will miss them very much.

Thank you for your service in Aussie Hero Quilts. You are making a difference and bringing joy. 

With many thanks and my wishes for the very best in the future.

Yours Sincerely,

….

Dear Bridget,

I have received your quilt and laundry bag and can I say it is absolutely amazing. The work you put into it is amazing. Thank you so much for sticking to theme I was hoping for.

The work you and your team at Aussie Hero Quilts is nothing short of amazing. All of us currently on deployment and past have all been so grateful for the amazing quilts and laundry bags.

A little about me; I am 25 and have been in the Army for 7 years next month. This is my first deployment and it has been a great experience and a lot of work. I am employed as a transport driver and am a section commander at the rank of Corporal. You probably knew that part haha.

I grew up in Queensland. I have a partner, she is fully qualified Vet. Together we have a 1 1/2 year old cattle/kelpie, border collie cross. He is a heap of fun and has endless energy.

I cannot wait to get home to see our dog and my beautiful partner again soon. 

I also was a car detailer for 3 years and loved it. Had some terribly dirty cars to clean in my time. Hahahaha. 

I won’t bore you for too long, but I will say again. Thank you to all of the amazing team at Aussie Hero Quilts (and laundry bags) and especially yourself for taking the time to make my amazing quilt and laundry bag. Thank you also for the little patch with the word blerb on it as I requested. I plan to pass this on through the generations as a reminder of what was achieved in the Middle East.

Kind Regards and all the best to you and your family. Hope to keep in touch.

                          ….

Hi Jenni,

I just wanted to thank you for the great quilt that you made. It arrived in the Middle East yesterday and I showed my girls when we had a video chat. They were both very impressed and of course cannot wait for me to send it home so we can snuggle under the couch all together.

They had some personal messages for you: ‘Thank you so much. You are a really good quilt maker and I love it. (8 years old). ‘Thank you. I love it. (5 year old).

Your generosity means so much to me and the girls and we want to say a heart-felt thanks. 

Regards

….

Dear Helen,

I am 26 years old and I am a Combat Engineer (Sapper) in the Army. I am currently deployed on Operation COVID Assist, the Australian Army’s contribution to the COVID Outbreak Response on the East Coast.

I would like to sincerely thank you for the laundry bag which I received today. I greatly appreciate the time, effort and energy that you have put into making my bag, and for all the other bags and quilts you’ve made for other servicemen and women.

My new bag will be a constant reminder of why we do what we do, and be a great boost to my morale and the morale of my colleagues.

I particularly enjoyed reading your letter which came with my bag. 

I sincerely hope that we are able to get on top of this outbreak soon

Thank you again for all your efforts and your thoughts.

Yours Sincerely,

….

Hi Ellen,

Just wanted to let you know that your beautiful quilt arrived, and it looks great!

My daughter will love it just as much, when I get home. I’m currently over in the Middle East due back at the end of the year, and will have to send a photo of us with it. Unfortunately, I can’t send any photos with the quilt outside due to the base I’m on.

My daughter recently had her second birthday, while I am over here, as well which was hard, so getting this quilt has made it a little bit easier. So thank you for that. 

I hope you are going well and you are not caught up in the recent lockdowns going across Australia. I am crossing my fingers, it is all under control by the time I get back.

Thanks again.

….

Dear Jan-Maree, Heather and Tanya,

Firstly, a sincere thank you Tanya for making the time to deliver a gift of appreciation, recognition and  letters when I was able to share what was a very emotional experience being presented this quilt. It was lovely to have such a special delivery. Although 1970-71 and 2001 are so, so many years ago these times still feel like yesterday for me.

Secondly, Heather, please accept my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for you having made the time to create and make such a beautiful quilt. I am sure each and every quilt and laundry bag you create is made with love, and appreciated by each and every one you have sewn for who has served overseas and now those serving Operation COVID Assist. Again thank you.

2021 is a year of poignant anniversaries for our family. June – 20 years since my husband died. July – 50 years since his return from Vietnam (our eldest was 5 weeks old when he left for Vietnam) and he would have been 75 end of October. Our 2 children had left home to pursue their careers some years before he died. He would be as I am, so proud of their achievements.

Our youngest, turned 45 in June. She returned from her second deployment, Middle East in May, her first was just six months after her fathers death to East Timor and she is currently posted in ACT. She sent me a photo from Middle East of her beautiful quilt which is cherished. I am so proud of her service and achievements to see she was being supported and recognised not only by her family and friends whilst deployed but by strangers (Aussie Hero Quilt Makers and Laundry Bags) who care was heartfelt.

Heather, your beautifully created quilt, I feel has been made with love will be well looked after and cherished and passed on to the next generation hopefully becoming a family heirloom in recognition of my husbands service. 

Again, my sincere thanks Heather, your thoughtfulness and generosity is so very much acknowledged and appreciated. Stay safe and well.

Finally and last but not least none of this would have been possible without you Jan-Maree. A sincere heartfelt thanks firstly for feeling the need to recognise not only our Vietnam Vets but for those who have followed in serving our country here and overseas.

So a big thank you to you and your selfless army of community volunteers, ‘Aussie Quilt Makers’ of ‘Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) for not only this quilt, but for the over 13,000 other quilts and 30,000 laundry bags you have so generously given up your time to beautifully create will have no doubt touched the heart of everyone who has been honoured to receive such a gift filled with love and appreciation.

Again Jan-Maree OAM, a heart felt thank you. You are a hero.

My best wishes to one and all involved in ‘Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags). 

Stay safe and well always and particularly in these uncertain COVID times.

Sincere thanks and appreciation.

….

Dear Hilary,

Thank you so much for the beautiful poppy laundry bag. It has been very busy here with government announcements all the while keeping an eye on COVID. 

We are not allowed off base because of the risk. So it is a bit tough sometimes. You are living an amazing life.

I wasn’t blessed with children, but my family has RAAF history and partner has 3 of his own that are like mine. 

Thank you again.

Take care, cheers

….

What a great bunch of messages 🙂

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

 


 

 


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