Grati -Tuesday 2nd November 2021

Written by ahq_admin

2 November 2021

                                                                     Good day friends!  

November already! And for me a particularly busy Tuesday as my day job is within the industry involving the ‘race that stops the nation’. It’s nice having the buzz again around the place for people talking about getting out, getting dressed up and enjoying a day out with friends and family. 

I’m glued to my laptop for the day, like most, but enjoying the sunshine I can see filling my windows and yard. Simple pleasures, my favourite!

Hope your day and week are fabulous, and even more so, now with these beautiful notes, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

  ….

Good Morning Sue,

Just a quick email to let you know my quilt arrived safely yesterday. Thank you ever so much for thinking of me and taking the time to craft such a beautiful piece.

I’ve popped a little card in the post for you to read later.

Thank you again.

  ….

Hi Jan-Maree,

Just a note to thank yo for the beautiful quilt I recently received in memory of my husband who passed away earlier this year. It was very comforting to receive such a thoughtful gift.

The work you do is truly wonderful and provides comfort at a much needed time.

Thank you once again.

  ….

Dear Toni,

Thank you so much for the laundry bag that you made for me. It is lovely and I am chuffed to bits with it. 

I am normally based in NSW but posted to QLD next year. I moved to Australia from the UK in 2008 and have spent most of my time in either NSW or ACT, I absolutely love NSW, so it will be sad to leave, but my home, with my wife and Rhodesian Ridgeback, is in QLD, so it will mean I will get home more often.

I am not sure how much you know about where we are located in the Middle East Region, but it is very comfortable and not at all difficult to live here. The food is excellent, there are two gyms, a volleyball court, and a social club that runs raffles, trivia, bingo etc. I certainly have no complaints. We have had restrictions because of COVID but there have recently been limited trips for shopping and culture.

Once again, thank you for making such a beautiful laundry bag, I love the fact that it has my initials on it. I am humbled that you have made such an effort. I am certainly no Aussie Hero, but I appreciate the sentiment.

Best wishes to you.

  ….

Received via Facebook:

Today is the most exciting day of the week here in the Middle East! MAIL DAY!

Thank you to Bel, who dedicated her time voluntarily – along with many others around Australia to make amazing quilts for Defence members deployed around the globe.

I am blown away by how amazing this quilt is she has made for me and sent to me here!

Thank you Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags) and the team of volunteers for dedicating your time and resources to make our days whilst away from family and friends.

This has been an amazing MAIL DAY!

  ….

Received via Facebook:

Hi there,

Thank you for my Hero Quilt I have received. 

As an exchange soldier, I thought this was a very kind gesture and one I will cherish. Forever.

  ….

Hello Pennie,

I served in HMAS Brisbane when I received your laundry bag in 2019. The one I received had the Greyjoy symbol (the Kraken) from Game of Thrones on the front of a white bag. I have greatly enjoyed reading the series and instantly took the bag when they gave us the option. I have treasured this since I received it as I always wanted a personal dhoby bag. Having been attached to many operational ships in my career, I had always had a plain standard issue and was quite jealous of my other shipmates colourful bags. It currently hangs in my cabin with pride. I had always intended to send an email, but had lost your message until now.

We were given these as we deployed to United State to conduct training and evaluation of our newly commissioned weapons system. This involved firing real missiles at simulated targets and conducting integration training with US Navy and aircraft. It has certainly been a highlight of my career, as we were stationed for about 2 months. I had opportunities to travel on weekends, including visits to Disneyland and Universal studios, and a week trip including the Grand Canyon. Additional port visits as well across Pacific Islands and NZ. Being able to speak another language would have helped in some countries. We were here for US Navy week, which included a ceremonial entry into the harbour.

I joined the Navy in 2008, as a gap year sailor, running on and off boats out of Queensland and Northern Territory. I returned to the Navy in 2014 after completing University and have been a Communications Sailor in the fleet since 2015. I have served Hydrographic Ships out of Cairns, and Commissioned HMAS Brisbane in 2018 out of NSW. My specialisation is IT systems, with plans to continue to train and improve my skills. I have since returned to QLD and currently posted to HMAS Leeuwin, where we are prepping for a short deployment to Tasmania.

I am an avid gamer currently getting into camping and exploring Queensland when not at sea. Thank you for taking the time to create my laundry bag. The support is greatly appreciated.

  ….

Hello Gayle,

Firstly, I want to thank you so much for the beautiful quilt and laundry bag. They look amazing and I can tell that alot of effort has gone into making them. I really appreciate it. 

My niece who loves Frozen, princesses and cats, I can not wait to show her when I get home. 

I have been in the RAAF for just over 3 years now and feel very lucky that I am able to serve in the Middle East, My sister is in the Army was also there earlier this year.

I never thought I would be doing humanitarian work and working in the evacuee camps. That was an eye opening experience. Everyone here worked really hard which I was proud to be a part of. One morning, we were all woken up at 5am and told to pack our rooms up as they needed our accommodation to stand up another evacuee camp. We were all sleeping in offices for almost 2 weeks while they were trying to get them back to Australia. It was a very surreal experience seeing them flee their country with no belongings but everyone was so supportive in trying to make them as comfortable as possible.

I have a dog, he is a Cavoodle and I miss him a lot! I should be home by Christmas which will be perfect timing to be with family and friends.

Again, thank you so much.

  ….

Hi Jan-Maree,

I would like to formally thank you for the Quilt that I received from Jo today. I am sure that I will find a great place to display this amazing quilt.

I am sure that you get this all the time, but I have to say what a great service that you and your team do for us veterans.

Keep up the wonderful job that you and the team do. Once again, thank you.

Cheers.

  ….

Hi Ladies,

On Monday, I presented a quilt to a Vietnam Veteran.

I had previously presented his son with an AHQ in June – and this prompted the request for one for his father.

I was pleased that his son had his on his bed and loves the detail in the top.

The Vietnam Veteran Recipient, his dad,  was delighted with the colours and the blocks used in his top and commented on the detail and the work that had been done to make such a wonderful quilt. The embroideries came in for a lot of attention, and he was thrilled that this was now his to use.

He thanked  AHQ team who made this for him. He felt honoured to receive it and keen to show his veteran friends.

Regards.

  ….

G’day Jenni,

I thought I would take the time to send you an email to thank you for the quilt and laundry bag you created for me. This trip has definitely been a challenge for me. Receiving these goods put a huge smile on my face. I actually am heading home soon.

I raise my child to value time and family above all. You cannot go back in time. Every second is never re-lived and it is important to fill your life with positivity and live life to the fullest. Your time and effort has been gratefully appreciated and has definitely made the end of my tenure here memorable. Every second and every stitch is so important to me.

I have been here since mid year, assigned in a Logistics role in the Air Task Group. We project C130J Hercules missions around the Middle East Region. Our Task Group has been here since Australia’s response to 9/11. We are winding down and re-posturing as a Force Element here and I am very fortunate to be here during such a significant period of the ADF’s commitment both Logistically and Operationally abroad.

My Tour has been challenging with COVID lockdowns in our Camp, home life, Middle East Operations and the re-posture of the ADF’s footprint. I am a very Junior member of staff. At 24 years of age, I never imagined I would be given such a huge opportunity.

Although challenging the Tour has been rewarding also. Rescuing people in need and providing a new safe and secure life in Australia really made feel fulfilment for the reason why I enlisted – to help those in need across the World. I am one proud Aussie.

Without people like you, we seriously could not do what we do. You bring morale when it is much needed. Seeing families disadvantaged going to safety and to a new life of freedom was simply the greatest experience I have ever had. I even got to build Refugee Camps and look after Refugees while staying here. Our work is no different to the time and effort you put into our quilts. You make us think of home, provide colour in our small rooms, and make us smile and remember why we are here.

You are truly an amazing person.

Thank you so much, for my quilt and laundry bag.

Respectfully.

  ….

Hi Pennie,

Many thanks for your kind gesture in sending the laundry bag.

I’m sure I will use it for many years to come.

Keep up the good work.

Kind Regards

  ….

Dear Jan-Maree,

We wish to express our sincere thanks to you and your volunteers, Wendy, Alison and Kerri for the beautiful quilts which were presented to us by the Bribie Island National Servicemen’s Association.

These quilts were requested to coincide with the 55th Anniversary of Battle of Long Tan at which myself and another recipient served.

He was injured at the Battle of Long Tan and I assisted in his repatriation.

At completion of our service, we returned to Australia, and got on with our lives until we both joined the Association and marched together on ANZAC Day 2021. It had been 55 years since we last were together in Vietnam.

The quilts will hold a special place in our homes and our hearts.

Thank you for providing such a wonderful gifts in recognition of our service to our country.

Yours Sincerely,

  ….

Dear Heather,

Today I received my Aussie Hero Quilt and I am writing to say thank you so much for the masterpiece. It looks incredible. It’s amazing how your creativity, imagination, skills and interpretation of a few words can really bring something to life.

I also really appreciate your letter and story. A bit about me  – I joined the ADF almost 10 years ago and I am currently deployed in the Middle East region working in a logistics role within the deployed Headquarters. The recent events here in the Middle East in support of the evacuation mission has been extremely busy but very rewarding and I believe it has been in the ‘true blue’ Aussie spirit. I am proud about having contributed to changing people’s lives and that’s why I joined the ADF.

Back home, I live in Queensland, where I am very much looking forward to returning to my partner, and our two dogs – Bull Arab x Staffy and Chihuahua x Corgi. Yes that’s about 42kg dog with a 9kg dog and funnily enough get along together so well. 

When speaking about sacrifices made whilst in the ADF, I think about the last 3 years that I have spent posted away from her. This year has been particularly exciting for us though, as we finally co-located early this year, and purchased our first home together. 

I love camping, four wheel driving and touring around Australia. I can’t wait to do more exploring once I am back home.

Once again, thank you so much for my quilt, and please pass on my thanks to everyone involved in this amazing organisation.

Kind Regards

  ….

Dear Cath,

I received the quilt in October, I love it! The colours are great and design is very good. Everyone I have shown the quilt to, also love it. So thank you very much for the wonderful quilt and the time and effort you put into making mine and the others you have made as well.

I’ll tell you about myself as well. I’ve been in the Army for about 7.5 years. I work in communications as a telecommunication tech. I currently live in NSW, before that I was in Queensland and Victoria.

I was born in NSW and spent the first 15 years of my life. During my early schooling, I did some textiles and cooking I wasn’t the best student as I was horrible at sewing. In 2009 my family and I moved, where I finished High School and eventually joined the Army.

My family includes my mother, father and younger brother and more recently a blue heeler. My father is a truck driver and my mother a secretary. My brother has recently started a job as a teacher’s aide and is looking into becoming a teacher himself. I believe the dog was brought to replace me, and is more loved than me, but I haven’t been able to prove it yet haha!

I used to have some birds, before I moved away to the Army. I had some budgies and finches. Ended up giving them away.

I like going to eat, catching up with friends, going to the beach, movies, and fitness also doing whatever else NSW can offer. Prior to deploying I was also in lockdown and I have spent most of the last two years away somewhere or in lockdown. So I was unable to do a lot of these things I enjoy but lockdown hasn’t been that bad for me, in comparison to others.

I have been away for a few months now, and expected to stay till next year. So far it’s been pretty busy. I am the first of my group to get a quilt or laundry bag, after seeing mine they are very excited to get theirs.

Once again thank you for the quilt and letter. You and the others at AHQ are doing an amazing job.

All the best.

 ….

Dear Toni,

I hope you are well today. I just wanted to extend my enormous thanks to you for the beautiful laundry bag you have made for me. I love your use of the colours and it was great to see the unique spin you put on with the designs and fabrics. As someone who grew up spending most of their time playing drums and guitar, I particularly enjoyed seeing the musical notation in the design.

A little bit about myself; I joined the RAN in 2021 and am now on my first sea posting. I have family members who have served in the RAAF and Royal Navy, but I am the first to join the Australian Navy. While the pandemic did influence the start of my career in the Navy in some strange ways, it has still been an all round incredible experience.

I remember seeing stories on the news about members of the ADF receiving quilts and laundry bags from Aussie Heroes, and it is amazing to think that I have also received one of these great gifts.

Both my mother and grandmother spend much of their time making their own personal quilts, bags and pillow cases, using various designs and fabrics. I can appreciate the incredible time and effort that goes into making just one of these gifts. 

The number of laundry bags you have made for other ADF members is astounding.

Once again, thank you so much for the laundry bags. It is a wonderful gift to have received while on the ship and has definitely livened up my living space! 

I hope you and your family are faring well in the current pandemic and that things will return to normal soon enough.

Kind Regards

 ….

Good Morning Bridget,

I have received my quilt and I got a bit emotional. I don’t like it. I totally love it. It’s so beautiful and couldn’t have been any more perfect. Everyone in the office was very jealous and totally green with envy. I went around all the Dental staff in the 10 dental clinics and showed everyone.

I feel truly blessed to have received such a detailed quilt with the dental instruments, the poppies, and the colours are just perfect. Being an Aries, red is my colour. Thank you for spending your precious time making me and all the other recipients your amazing quilt.

A little about me, I grew up in WA and enlisted at 17 to travel and see the world. As a broke teenager, it was a way to have that adventure and someone else foot the bill. I thought I would do a couple of years and soon, I will click over to my 34 years of full time service. I have moved around our wonderful country every couple of years. I am married to a wonderful man who supports my career, a mum of two kids, a daughter who is now 17 and a son who is 15.

I’ve deployed overseas to the middle east and I’ve been a part of humanitarian assistance dental work in some amazing places which has given me great joy to help the less fortunate and provide basic dental treatment to relieve pain. I’ve also worked on the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship with loads of foreign forces travelling to many countries providing dental care.

Please accept my deepest thanks and gratitude. I wish you and your family all the very best and hopefully things will become more normal sooner rather than later.

 ….

Dear Toni,

Your beautiful laundry bag has rocked my world today. Such talent and such a beautiful spirit.

Thank you so much for opening a window into your world. It has certainly been a challenging few years for gardeners. I grew up in Victoria, with Greek and Italian neighbours, and market garden just down the road (No cows, alas but very moody cat). My dad grew all sorts of crops in our backyard (and still does).. beans, beetroot, tomatoes, herb, sweet pea, onions, garlic, and potato (my absolute favourite). Dad scrupulously collected every bit of grey water he could during the long summer of Summer 2020, and his garden remains a little jewel in his suburb 🙂

You have injected some joy into another wise unremarkable Monday, and I’m so grateful.

Thank you for the time and love you put into these creations, for a stranger you have never met. I can’t tell you how much it means.

Cheers!

 ….

Dear Beverley,

I’m writing to let you know that I have received the wonderful quilt and laundry bag you made for me. I absolutely love the design. It has a special place on top of my bed while I’m here in the Middle East.

Thank you for sharing a little about yourself.

Once again, many thanks for your generous gift and your letter about yourself. I am very grateful to have received it along with your kind words.

….

Wow! What another fabulous week of colour, happiness and joy brought by the wonderful work you all do. Thank you!

On that note, have a sensational week, keep doing what you do best! Happy stitching!

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