Grati -Tuesday 7th December 2021

Written by ahq_admin

7 December 2021

Happy Tuesday Friends,

Hope your week is travelling well. As I publish this week’s blog I am traveling to Victoria for work and catch up with some friends and family. Fleeting visit but so looking forward to meeting some of my colleagues for the first time since I started in my role in March and catching up for some long overdue face time with loved ones.

What’s planned for your week?

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Good Morning / Afternoon Angie,

I am a proud member of the Royal Australian Air Force currently on Operation COVID Assist. I would like to start off by saying thank you for volunteering your time and effort into making a wonderfully well made laundry bag for me and my service brothers and sisters. I have had great pleasure in reading your letter that came with the laundry bag; that I appreciate.

It’s because of people like you, I am proud to represent and serve our country. Having had my father serve in the Australian Army before me, gives me a great understanding of how important it is to have family support and services like Aussie Hero Quilts who also presented my father and his fellow veterans with quilts.

Before joining the Air Force, I used to live and work in Queensland, and use to enjoy surfing most weekends. I’m very much looking forward to returning to the area when I get a chance and in no doubt after a solid surf session return for a fantastic meal and cold beer.

I wish you and your family all the best and to thank you for your contributions to the Defence Force.

Kind Regards.

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Hi Pam,

I received my quilt from Belinda at the end of last week.

Thank you so much for the time you all take to do this for us.

I really appreciate it and it’s always a great day when a new quilt arrives at the office.

Kind Regards.

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Dear Marilyn,

Thank you so much for the absolutely beautiful laundry bag and special treats. It’s absolutely wonderful to receive and I appreciate all that you do.

I am currently deployed on Operation COVID-19 Assist running the military quarantine facility up in Northern Territory for the last few months. It has been a very hectic period.

A little about me; I have been in the Army for just on ten years and I am a Captain in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps. I absolutely love my job and really enjoy all the different opportunities that get provided to me.

I was born in Victoria and my parents live there still. I am very excited because my posting next year is to HMAS Cerebus, and I can finally come home. Especially after the last two years, where I have been unable to visit my parents and my two brothers and my extended family in Victoria, but I will be moving at the end of the year and finally coming home.

I read your beautiful letter.

When I come to Victoria next year, I will be spending as much time with family as I can.

Again, thank you so much for your lovely gifts, it was such a lovely morale boost and I have been so run down at the moment, it really did make my day.

Hope you are out of lockdown soon, enjoy your day, and thank you.

Cheers.

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Good Afternoon,

Thank you so much, we received 6x quilts via mail today. These will be presented to the members soon.

Have a lovely day.

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G’day Sue,

I wanted to thank you for the beautiful quilt and laundry bag that you have crafted for me.

You have an amazing talent, they both turned out better than I could have imagined.

I hope you and your family are keeping safe and well through the pandemic back home.

Know that I will cherish my quilt and laundry bag for years to come.

 

And thank you again,

Kindest Regards.

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Good Afternoon Marilyn,

I hope this finds you well.

Thank you so much for my laundry bag. I love it and it will be placed and used as a matter of pride.

A little about me; I am currently deployed in the Vaccination HUBs which are very busy with freedom being restored to the fully vaccinated and now boosters are being done.

I will then be back working in Operating Theatres with elective surgery opening up again – Christmas will be extremely busy.

I am a Nursing Officer, but have been in the Army Reserves for 11 years and really enjoy providing a service.

I come from a long line of Military – father, father in law, and mother in the Air Force, son and husband (both deployed overseas) in the Army.

All have served in some capacity, so I guess it’s in the blood.

I am very lucky to have 4 grandchildren now, and 3 very grown up sons all now living in NSW near to where I live.

My father was a civilian, a pilot so I traveled a lot as a child too.

I have lost 7 members of my family in the past 18 months – 2 of them to COVID – so being able to contribute to the (hopeful) protection of our country, is very close to my heart.

We have just had some restrictions eased which feels so good – hoping Victoria gets better soon too.

Please stay well, and keep in touch, we all are so appreciative of what you do – a big thank you.

Kind Regards.

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Good Evening Marilyn and Family,

Thank you so much for the lovely laundry bag. It is very much appreciated and has come in handy in the busy laundry’s on base when finding my clothes.

We had a massive delay in receiving post when the evacuations of people occurred which I was actually part of. I fly as crew in the back of the C130J Hercules – you would have seen it on the news as we were the first Australian Aircraft into the area and then proceeded to fly many missions to get thousands of people out, the aircraft was extremely cramped with families seated on the floor.

The women seemed very surprised to see someone like me in uniform with all my gear on taking charge down the back. They were all very scared but they didn’t need to speak English to show their gratitude when we got them out.

I grew up in Queensland and have been in the Air Force for over 14 years now. My family is back there as well as my nieces. I have missed them the last 2 Christmas’ from work, so hoping the borders open so I can make it back this year, as I am based in NSW. Not many of the other states are fans of us at the moment! I am here in the Middle East for another couple of weeks, before I head home so it will be great to be home.

Thank you so much again! I am sure it takes so much time and work to put one of these bags together.

Take care and have a great day.

Kind Regards

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Hello Helen,

I am a Petty Officer Musician with the Royal Australian Navy Band.

Recently, I deployed on Operation COVID-19 Assist in NSW, and was helping out the NSW Police conduct welfare and compliance checks on COVID positive members of our community. It was interesting work and I got the chance to work closely with the Police which was a new experience for me.

I received your lovely dhoby bag from our Padre and I wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for your sewing. I used it regularly and it definitely brightened up the area.

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G’day Hillary,

I am the new owner of your lovely laundry bag!

I’ve been wanting to thank the creator but I didn’t see an email attached.

Just wanted to thank you so much for lovely gift, it honestly made me feel at home again, and since I had been away for 9 months it was exactly what I needed.

Thank you again very much.

Lots of love.

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Thank you so much for the quilt.

It arrived today and is absolutely stunning and perfect in every way.

Please pass on my sincerest thanks to the very talented quilter who has made such a perfect quilt.

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Received via Facebook:

‘Evening Heroes,

OMG! I am so touched by the gift I received today, whilst deployed here in Sinai, Egypt on Operation Mazurka.

I have served for over 33 years and today I felt so proud of that service when I received my quilt and laundry bag.

I personally will thank Bridget in a private email, but team it’s amazing thing.

Thank you

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Hello Aussie Hero Quilts,

I received my quilt in the post last week, and it is so special. Thank you to all of the team for bringing comfort and kindness through your quilts.

Thanks again.

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Dear Helen,

I received one of your laundry bags from the Padre today!

Many many thanks for the gift; it’s a wonderful thing you’re doing and much appreciated.

Wishing you all the best.

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G’day Pam,

I’m delighted to advise my quilt turned up today, and it is magnificent.

I’m very grateful to your amazing team for the efforts they put into these works of art!

I’ll write a more fulsome email back to Bev tomorrow to thank her for her efforts.

Kind Regards.

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Thank you so much!

I truly look forward to receiving this once returned from my current deployment.

Thank you again.

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Thank you received via Facebook:

I want to give the biggest thank you to Cathie and Ron for sending this amazing piece of quilting over!

It brought me to tears. It is more than I had imagined it could be, and it sits proudly on my bed keeping my tootsies warm.

 

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Dear Jenny,

Thank you so much for the lovely laundry bag and your note. It is beautiful and seriously sturdy. I am indeed safe and back in Australia.

I am sorry it has taken so long to write but it has been a funny year and I have been trying to get myself in the right frame of mind to sit down and write to you. I am not sure if you are aware but in my civilian job I am a surgeon in Victoria.

This year and last have certainly had their challenges. Much of the good will that seemed to exist towards healthcare workers at the start of the pandemic seems to have given way to frustration now and the hospital can be a pretty unpleasant place. That is why it is nice to sit down on a sunny Sunday afternoon with a glass of wine and write my letter.

It means a great deal when a person makes something by hand for someone else, a great deal indeed. It was great to hear a little about your in your letter.

I am in my 40’s but, I grew up on the farm and my grandmother actually still washed in a copper in a separate laundry to the house on the farm, and she used to put the laundry through a mangle as we called it. She also cooked on a wood stove and they had cows and with the fresh milk she would actually make scalded cream by putting a tray of milk over the residual heat overnight I think. Scalded cream is a hell of a thing. I think cooking with those wood stoves was an absolute art. It did everything – warmed the house, dried the clothes, cooked the meal and maybe bread or scones in the afterheat etc etc. I actually think food tastes better from a wood stove as well. They had a bit of everything on the farm, my grandparents.

They also had pigs and I used to help feeding them the swill. I didn’t mind feeding the pigs at all. I actually really liked them. They were clearly highly intelligent, and there is nothing cuter in the world than a baby piglet. What I hated however were the geese that my grandparents had roaming the place that would chase me every time I was carrying something towards the pigs. Geese are cantankerous bloody things, and when you aren’t much taller than them they are terrifying. I hate geese to this day. Gives me satisfaction to eat them and use their fat on potatoes.

I actually grew up on a sheep grazing property and Dad is still on the farm. I am unsure whether it is my imagination but I think handicraft seems to be a bigger part of life in country towns. I remember quilting being a pretty big thing in town, and in fact, one of my Christmas activities every year is hanging up a Christmas quilt that my Dad had bought from the local quilting group many years go. Christmas is always so hot there, but I love it.

In fact I don’t mind Christmas on deployment in the Middle East. We had a barbeque with the other Aussies and it actually felt ok. I missed my wife and kids, but I was able to order presents for them on Amazon and actually see them opening them on Christmas day via the internet from where I was. It is amazing how connected we can all be now.

I hope you have a lovely Christmas Jenny. I am really hoping to be up on the farm with Dad this year again. He is in his 80’s now, and with COVID he has had very little chance to see the grandkids. I am pretty hopeful that we might be able to have a more normal Christmas this year on the farm, in the heat just like it used to be.

Anyway, Jenny, I hope I haven’t bored you with my stories.

Thank you again, for the laundry bag.

Kind Regards.

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Hi Helen,

Before you read this email, I hope you are safe and enjoying freedom week once again. Thank you for your time in the most beautiful way ever.

When the Padre came in to give us his talk about humanitarian work during COVID assistance, he had your bag facing us all. It was so pretty and eye-catching from a distance, I said to myself ‘That is mine’ and guess what he passed it to me, since I was sitting really close to the stage. I received this beautiful laundry bag when I posted to NSW this August.

My home base is in NSW and always will be wherever I get back from deployment overseas or around Australia. I recently got selected to work on Operation COVID Assist for the third time.

Must be something about these deployments, I work at that the Supervisors want me back. I am working in the public health district right now working the COVID assistance (contact tracing).

Thank you for addressing the letter as an ‘Aussie Hero’. I feel blessed. I agree with you that because of COVID Virus life has changed for many people including my very own fellow service men and women in blue grey and green.

I used to stitch clothes for a group of ladies and gents called my local sewing angels. We stitched clothes for under-privileged children all around the world. I was new to the country. They taught me what it was to be Australian. They were carer’s and givers to anyone and everyone. I call them my foster parents in Australia. I used to also stitch fabric pencil cases. They’re not fabulous but mine last for about 5 years (if well looked after).

Patrol Boats is one I’m training for soon next year, the training centre in Northern Territory, so once borders are open I will be out there learning.

My sewing group has been inspiring, from the sewing group to looking after people around me in general, has given me a bigger purpose in life, to do more for anyone around me. The discipline and routine that I have built up in the last few years has helped me to be where I am today.

I have travelled around the world over 10 years and then when I met my husband I decided to settle down in Australia. I have three children, 2 boys and a girl.

Please keep in touch, I would love that.

Sorry it took so long to reply.

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Dear Jan-Maree,

I was completely blown away when Thelma turned up to present me with my marvelous quilt.

Whilst I am enormously proud of my Army service which spanned 20 years, including my 14 month stint in Asia, as well as another 5 years of Special Operations, I normally keep my service life very much to myself unless I am with former colleagues.

The quilt has, to a significant degree, changed that. Within hours I had talked about it to people with whom I share no military history. My wife and I have already planned to remove a painting from the living room wall, so that the quilt will be on permanent display.

Could you please pass on a big thank you to Bobbie and Philomena for me?

Thank you

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Hi Jacqui,

I received the beautiful quilt you made for me!

I love it, this will definitely come into good use in our home.

Thank you for everything you do.

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Good Morning,

Hope you like the photo from our Indo-Pacific Endeavour Deployment on HMAS ANZAC.

Enjoy!

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G’day,

I just walked down without staging any wash bags and this is what I saw.

When we rotate soldiers in and out of the room is full of bags.

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Hi Cath,

You made me the wonderful Australian animals quilt for my trip on HMAS ANZAC.

I chose the Australian animals because my mother loves them, and she has supported me all the way up to this point.

I plan to take it home with me over Christmas.

Thank you for making myself such a wonderful gift.

Regards.

 

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Thanks very much for the beautiful well made laundry bag.

I got it from RAAF base Butterworth.

 

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Good Morning Chris,

This email I’m sure will come out of the blue, but I wanted to write and thank you for the laundry bags (and best wishes) you sent to Chaplain a little while back.

All the bags you sent have been delivered, amid lots of smiles and enthusiasm! Therefore, I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you again for your support of our service personnel overseas.

It’s a tough gig but things like these laundry bags and knowing that someone back in Australia is thinking about them and make all the difference.

Many blessings going into Christmas and a brand new year.

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Such gorgeous notes and happy snaps! Love it.

Here’s to a safe and a happy week Friends.

 

 

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