Grati -Tuesday 9th November 2021

Written by ahq_admin

9 November 2021

Hey Friends!

As always some absolute treasures in these notes, I can’t get enough of them. Its always so fascinating to me what brings someone to choose their laundry bag or request a particular design, it’s awesome. And even more so, how you creative souls turn words on a page & random themes into something as magnificent as we see! LOVE IT.

Enjoy this week’s notes, I know I did! Alex

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Dear Thelma,

I have recently returned from the Middle East and was overwhelmed to receive the quilt you have made for me. I am glad you are a GoT fan and can appreciate the intricacies of a very involved storyline.

I love it so much and the skill you have is clearly on display. I am humbled by the gift and the thoughtfulness that has gone into it. It will be treasured.

As the news has no doubt been showing, the evacuation of Middle East has had many highs and lows with the last chapter shortly to end. The ADF continues to do amazing work in the ME and we have now impacted 1,000 lives for the better.

Let me thank you again for the support you provide to the ADF (80+ quilts and LBs) and wish you the very best for whatever you get up to.

Kind Regards

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Good Morning 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 my laundry bag; that I appreciate. It’s because of families like yours, 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 in NSW and enjoy surfing most weekends. I’m very much looking forward to returning to the area when I get the chance and no doubt after a solid surf session return to the local for a fantastic meal and cold beer.

I wish you and your family all the best and to thank you.

Kind Regards

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Good Morning Beverly,

Thank you so much for my quilt. 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 becoming very busy with the hope of freedom being restored to the fully vaccinated.

I am a Nursing Officer but have only been in the Army Reserve 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 in the Army. My father was a Pilot so we travelled a lot as a child.

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

Can’t agree more about making the most of every day. We hope to travel through the centre of Australia next year – it was supposed to be this year, but got cancelled due to lockdown.

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

Kind Regards

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G’day Sheena,

I was absolutely delighted to receive your beautifully crafted quilt this morning. Thanks so much for that. You nailed the brief and gave me all my beloved footy teams. Shame the Rabbitohs couldn’t beat the Panthers in the Grand Final. We all took a couple of hours out of our day to watch the game which was great.

We are in the Middle East Region, and my role is leading 18 joint force communication specialists from Army, RAAF and Navy. We are responsible for managing and maintaining the communication networks supporting the Joint Force Task Force Headquarters.

This is my first deployment and it has been extremely rewarding to work alongside all these amazing men and women in our Australian Defence Force. It has been challenging with recent events occurring in the region however it has been great to do our bit.

I am from NSW. I have been married for 15 years. My parents live in NSW as well, and I have a sister who recently moved back to Australia after living in the USA for 12 years. I’m looking forward to getting home and seeing her and my niece and nephew of whom I have not seen for a few years.

Once again, thanks so much for the quilt. I absolutely love it. Please know words can’t describe what it means to receive this support from home. It really does brighten the day for everyone when we receive these gifts.

All the best.

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Good Morning Joy,

Thank you so much for the quilt. It only just arrived today due to the Navy’s mailing system being slower than Australia Post.

I’ve been posted to HMAS Sydney since 2020. We left Australia on deployment this year headed to the United States for a difficult trip where unfortunately we were not able to leave the ship. We arrived back in NSW around the middle of the year. Unfortunately, COVID came back to haunt us, and we went straight into lockdown on arrival.

I’m originally from South Australia. I lived with my parents, older brother, twin brother and younger sister. I joined the Navy in 2015 going through the Australian Defence Force Academy, graduating in 2017 before completing the Maritime Warfare Officer Course. I love driving ships and I love my job.

Once again, thank you so much for the quilt. I very much appreciate it and hope you’re doing well.

Kind Regards

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Good Afternoon Margaret,

Thank you so much for your beautifully made laundry bag. It has definitely brightened my days and space during COVID tasking.

I am a Leading Aircraftman in the Royal Australian Air Force. In my unit, my normal role is as Air Surveillance Operator, based out of NSW. We normally keep the skies protected. However, during this time we are on the ground with our Army and Navy brothers and sisters.

Your laundry bag personally resonated for me, as I use to be a tailor’s apprentice before I joined the Air Force in 2018. So I have a great love and appreciation of sewing and construction. I do all the uniform and civilian repairs / alterations at my unit for friends and family. I own an industrial Juki sewing machine. It’s my pride and joy. From one sewing maker to another, I wanted to express my gratitude for you putting your heart into your craft. It means a lot to know the person behind such a caring gesture.

Yourself and all the volunteers at Aussie Hero Quilts are doing a fantastic job of uplifting morale and supplying wonderfully made laundry bags. Due to the pandemic and our specific tasking, we wash our uniforms everyday to make sure we don’t transmit COVID to ourselves or our team mates. We also wear safety glasses and masks at all times. We get COVID tested every 3 days and isolate when we aren’t working.

Here in NSW, we are working closely with State Police doing welfare and compliance checks on COVID positive families. Making sure they have enough food/medication and that everyone in the household is recovering well and their symptoms are under control. We make sure that they are self isolating and staying home to prevent any harm to their families and their community.

Thanks for being so kind to make something special from the heart. Know that I will treasure it. It is a powerful reminder that people in the community care and are supportive. It warms my heart and is greatly appreciated during these tough times.

All the best wishes for you, your family and your lovely pets.

Kind Regards

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Hi Pennie,

I have just come home to a parcel sent by yourself.

WOW! I love it. I keep looking at it with a big smile on my face and a tear in my eye. It is just like you know me, but we’ve never met. I absolutely love it, especially the anchors at the bottom, but my favourite is the red cross.

For the first time in a long time, I am speechless. Being one of only a few females in the team, I am usually not the silent type but this has just knocked me for 6 (my husband is laughing and making the most of it)!

Saying thank you for making this for me just does not seem enough, but it is all I can think of at the moment.

Stay Safe

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Dear Ellen,

Thank you so much for my wonderful quilt and laundry bag. They are absolutely beautiful.

A little about me; Originally raised in Victoria, I’ve been in the RAAF for a bit over 10 years as a radiography officer. I work full time for RAAF but also complete one day a week extra and occasional weekend shifts at the Hospital as a radiographer sonographer. I really enjoy both of my jobs but, do find it a bit of a juggling act at times.

Most recently, I was deployed to Victoria in response to the COVID pandemic, however am now back home in Queensland. After being posted to RAAF base for 9 years (there aren’t many posting locations for radiographers), I am moving to the ACT next year. This quilt will come in mighty handy for the cold evenings.

I will be sorry to leave QLD because it has been such a wonderful place to work. It will be lovely living closer to my family in Victoria though, should the state borders settle down and I be allowed to visit them.

I’m sorry this email has been a bit delayed.

I have two cats, who love cuddles, and a family dog, a kelpie cross.

I also like to sew (poorly and slowly) when I have time, and know how much effort this would have taken you. I am so very grateful to you for having your time and care into making something so precious for a stranger.

Stay safe and thank you for your ongoing creative generosity to deployed ADF members. Your support really means a lot to us.

Kind Regards

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Dear Chris,

Hello, I just wanted to drop you a note, thanking you for the wonderful washing bag that I have received from you recently. When I saw the pirate theme I knew that I had to have that one. It brings a smile to my face whenever I do my washing!

I’m staying at base in NSW, where I am on Operation COVID Assist. We have to stay at this naval base while on operation as we are often exposed to people who potentially have COVID. I’m a Royal Australian Army Engineer in the Reserves and usually work as an architect when I’m not called up for National Emergencies.

I live in NSW. I haven’t married or had kids yet, although that’s one of my dreams.

It’s so meaningful to do volunteer work and help people in the community. I really admire you for the work that you do. I believe that to live a meaningful life, service to others, especially those in need, is a vital ingredient.

Anyway, thanks again for your support and the wonderful washing bag!

Yours,

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Hi Heather,

Firstly, what an awesome quilt you have produced for me. I really can’t thank you enough. I absolutely love it and I appreciate the time and effort that you have put into designing and then the production of the quilt. It has pride of place in my lounge room with everyone that comes into the house being able to see it and marvel at it’s glory. You really are the best!

What you ladies do is so appreciated, words can fail to express the gratitude the recipients feel towards you. I just can’t thank you enough for what you have presented me.

I hope you are doing well through this COVID stuff. For most Victorians it has been one lockdown after another and fatigue is really starting to set it. I actually don’t mind lockdown but I would just like a little time away from it just for a few days so I can get out on the water and do a bit of fishing. I can’t see that happening for a few weeks yet.

Thank you again for my quilt. I will treasure it always. Thank you for the laundering tips also. It will be very useful information when the time comes.

Thanks again.

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Dear Clarissa,

Firstly, I must apologise for not replying to you earlier. I have been waiting to meet up with my son since receiving my Aussie Hero Quilt from Jenny. It was my intent to have a photo taken with my son and I holding the quilt together, but alas, this hasn’t been possible due to the pandemic and I haven’t seen my son since the quilt arrived.

I could never thank you and all the ladies enough for this beautiful quilt. It now takes pride of place in my office and is the first thing I see when I arrive at work in the morning (That’s when I’m at work btw). Lynn and Wendy have absolutely nailed the quilt. I could never in my wildest dreams wished for anything better or more beautiful.

The ladies have linked all my families individual periods of service together in one amazing quilt. I am so proud of what it represents. My father would be tickled pink to see the result and he would be honoured to see the reference to 2 Squadron and our connection with him in his Vietnam service.

My father spent 27 years serving as a Transport Driver in the Air Force and my son still works as a Life Support Fitter in NSW, although my son separated from the Permanent Air Force in 2016, he still continues in the same type of work, and servicing the same aircraft.

My families service history is deep, my grandfather was one of the first to land at Gallipoli and he returned home to lead a relatively normal life.

I currently work as a Member Support Coordinator (MSC), assisting serving members in dealing with complex, medical, family, and administrative concerns. I assist them to map their way through a safe and productive return to the work place. Some of them are fighting life threatening conditions and sadly some don’t make it, but I feel very privileged to be in a position to walk with these members in difficult times and work towards improved outcomes. Your quilt reminds me of how lucky I am and I cherish every moment as I move through my military career.

At the end of the year, I will look to hang up my hat and look towards a life outside the Air Force. I may return in some small way but I suspect it will be in a limited capacity – time to see our country and enjoy a less stressful experience.

On behalf of all my family, and my wife, we extend our sincere thanks for all the hard work performed by AHQ and we wish the organisation, many happy years supporting all whom receive these very treasured gifts. You are all simply amazing.

Take care and God Bless.

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Hey Ellen,

I am LACW in the Royal Australian Air Force currently deployed on Operation COVID Assist.

I have been in the service for 2 years and I love it. I am currently studying a masters in business administration and hope to pursue a career as a public affairs officer.

My interests are horse riding, ballet and having a well deserved wine with my beautiful friends.

Thank you so much for sewing this beautiful laundry bag, and for letting me know about your family history.

I hope to hear from you soon

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Good Morning Shirley,

From HMAS ANZAC, I would like to say thank you very much for the bag which I recently received.

It was disappointing to watch Geelong lose the other weekend, but I have to say that I have a soft spot for Melbourne and I am glad to see they have made a Grand Final. It was interesting to read about your textile achievements and I immediately thought of my mother-in-law who is an avid painter. She displays some of her work around Victoria.

My family are back in Western Australia and I have three sons, 6, 5 and 9 months. I miss them (and of course my wife) dearly, and am looking forward to getting back to them soon.

Thank you again for supporting us at sea, and deployed away from our families.

Warm Regards

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Good Morning Toni,

You made the best laundry bag while I was deployed overseas. It was one of the best surprises when I received it. My family and I loved it very much. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. You also wrote me a heartfelt letter. It has been a while since I received a letter of this kind. For this, THANK YOU.

Sorry I couldn’t write to you earlier, as I was very busy with work during 12 hours shift 6 days a week. I am back in Australia now. Quarantine was is really tougher than I expected especially mentally. But I am doing my best by talking to family, watching Netflix, TV, reading books and in-room gym.

A little about myself. I migrated to Australia in 2016 from Bangladesh when I was 19. I did some study after I got here and joined the RAAF in 2015 as an Avionics Technician. I got posted to NSW to work on C130J Plane. It is one of the busiest SQN in the RAAF, doing lots of work (humanitarian, strategic and tactical), both at home and around the world. So far, it has certainly been challenging but rewarding at the same time. I get to know a lot of people and see a lot of places and experiences. Stuff I never ever thought of in my wildest dreams.

Changed my perspective about the world that we live in.

The most recent experience is the evacuation of thousands of people in the Middle East. You might have heard about it in the news. It was so unexpected, unpredictable and so much hard work (probably the hardest I worked in my RAAF career) but also the best thing I have ever done. It changed me forever in a good way. It was very rewarding seeing the relief on their faces when they stepped out of the C130.. They were exhausted after being through so much, especially the kids.

I am certain, these are the lucky bunch. I hope when these kids will grow up, they will become fine Australians and make Australia and their families proud. I just want you to know that most of the Defence Force personnel including the big bosses express the same way. We all feel very proud of what we have achieved over there. We all wish them the very best and welcome them to this very beautiful country.

The best country in the world if you ask me.

So, when I received the laundry bag, it was extra special to me. When I read your letter, it made me feel very humble and very emotional. That was a very special moment and THANK YOU again for that.

You are a very special person. I have laminated your letter and it will go into our family treasure along with the laundry bag. We really appreciate your support that you all provide for ADF.

We couldn’t do this without you all.

I have very small family here. I live with my wife, and daughter, 22 months old, in NSW. Most of my family members are overseas but I have some friends near. My daughter keeps us busy most of the time as you can imagine. She means the world to us. Please keep her in your prayer. I want her to become a good human when she grows up and do good things to others.

My family and I wish you all the very best.

Kindest Regards

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Dear Beverley,

I received my Aussie Hero Quilt and oh my goodness, thank you so much. The fabric is gorgeous, I am so impressed you were able to obtain such perfect print that reflects me.

Before the pandemic, my family and I lived in the United Kingdom for a period of time and I joined the local military quilting club. I’ve never been particularly good with a sewing machine but our teacher was so patient, kind and encouraging. We spent most of our time chatting over cups of tea well into the evening and as someone who can get impatient I realised very quickly the precision required with measuring and cutting if you want your quilting to work out.

In 8 months of quilting class, I finished with only a quilted pin cushion and one quilted Christmas stocking (and 2 years later still need to make one for my other child)! Also lots of friendships and very good appreciation for the time and care that goes into making a quilt, so the kind and thoughtful effort you put into making my quilt is not lost on me.

I am delighted that I have this beautiful memento of my service and in particular – the challenging time that working through the pandemic has been – thank you!

Warm Regards

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Don’t you love a good surprise? And surprise it was!

After delays due to nasty ol’ Corona, it was with pleasure that AHQ sewing volunteers Heather and Sue-Ellen made the trip to suburban Queensland to surprise Vietnam Veteran with a beautiful Aussie Hero Quilt.

Heather had been communicating with Major’s daughter, who was trying to get her extended family at home for this presentation.. and that she did!! Great to see the plan worked for her.

So there was Major’s wife, 2 daughters and son, and the grandchildren. Only one was missing, which was sadly the granddaughter, who had requested the quilt for her grandfather. She was locked down in NSW, but thanks to the wonders of technology, she did see it all on FaceTime. Nobody but his daughter and our volunteer knew what was going on, and given that his family has very close association with members in the Navy, Air Force and Army, it was lovely to see everyone there to recognise the service of Major.

After getting over the initial surprise, and that he and his wife were not expecting the occasion, they were humbled by it all. After all, if they had been prepared, it would have taken away from the surprise.

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Dear Pennie,

I just wanted to let you know that today I received your beautiful quilt and laundry bag, whilst here on deployment.

I cannot thank you enough for the time and effort you put into making my quilt, and the matching laundry bag. They are both so amazing and they have absolutely made my room 1000 times brighter and more homely. I love them. I’m so glad you were finally able to put your special materials from Hawaii to use. They are gorgeous!

My friends have started calling me a ‘crazy plant lady’ but I’m embracing it lol!

I have a friend at home looking after my apartment and she seems to be doing a good job of drowning my plants, but then successfully reviving them all. So they are hanging in there – only a short stint of deployment to go and then I’ll be able to give them all the TLC they need!

This is my second deployment to the Middle East. It’s hard knowing what everyone is going through back in Australia with the COVID situation and all. On the flip side, it’s been challenging here with not just COVID but the stability of the Middle East Region changing. My role is a Loadmaster, I fly on the C-130J Hercules. We’ve been involved in the efforts in Middle East in recent days, trying to do all we can to get people to safety. It’s been challenging work, but very rewarding to know that we’ve been able to help in some way.

Thanks again for your beautiful handiwork and all the effort you put into Aussie Hero Quilts – to look after us while we are deployed.

We can’t thank you enough.

All the best.

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Good Morning / Afternoon Margaret,

I am blown away by the fantastic quilt I have recently received from you. I can’t begin to express my gratitude and appreciation for your outstanding support to the Men and Women of the ADF who currently serve in the Middle East.

I so greatly appreciate the thought behind the quilt you produced and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind generosity, time and dedication to what I received from you in the way of the quilt.

The quilt will be hung proudly in my rumpus room when I return to Queensland. At the end of each day when I return to my living quarters, I look at it and it reminds me of both my active service in the UK and Australian Army.

A little background intro into my life. I have been married to my gorgeous wife for 32 years and we have two children. A daughter who is 28, and a son who is 25. I served with the British Military for 23 years and transferred to the Australian Defence Force in 2009.

My daughter was born in Asia and she was 15 when we moved to Queensland. She completed a Degree at University of Queensland where she studied Micro Biology. However, kids being kids she became an insurance broker.

My son was born in the United Kingdom, and was 12 when we moved. He followed in my footsteps and joined the ADF, but unfortunately had to discharge for medical reasons. He now works with the Qld Govt as a Driving Examiner, as well as running a tech business. In what spare time he has, he works as a personal fitness trainer.

Both my kids are doing well and lucky for my wife and I, they have moved out into their own home.

My wife and I are originally from Scotland, and since moving to Australia, we have been home a couple of times. I do love home, as it is where I was born, and my family still live there, and it is where I have a lot of childhood memories, but Australia, is now home.

We moved to Queensland when we first came to Australia and that is now home for us. On return and after some hard earned leave, I will be going back to my unit there.

Anyway Margaret, best I crack on, and do some work. It is your thought and kind gesture that has amazed me. Thank you once more for your kind and thoughtful words of appreciation you wrote on the card.

All the best and take care especially during this period of uncertainty back in Australia.

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Dear Ruth,

Thank you so much for my laundry bag. It certainly brightened my day. I really loved the idea of the map of Australia on the back to check off the places that I’ve been, what a great idea! The combination of the dogs, the RAEME colours, the embroidery of the rising sun, my nickname and the map of Australia makes it difficult to choose which side is my favourite.

Mail day in the Middle East is not only exciting for the individual mail items from loved ones but in the workplace, everyone loves to show off their new Laundry Bag or Quilt, and showing off my new laundry bag was no exception. The work that is done by the amazing volunteers at Aussie Hero Quilts and Laundry Bags is outstanding and it goes a long way in boosting the morale of the lucky recipients.

I’ve been deployed for almost 4 months, and I am very much looking forward to coming home.

Once again, thank you so much for the laundry bag. It will be cherished forever, and I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy.

Kind Regards

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That’s all friends, hope you enjoyed these beautiful notes and wonderful photos.

Until next week, don’t forget to like, comment and share, to help us with continuing to spread the word and cheer!

Happy Creating Friends x

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