Grati -Tuesday 28th December 2021

             Last Grati post for 2021! 

WOW, what a year it has been. Despite the crazy the world has been experiencing, we have been able to witness and be apart of some genuinely happy exchange of your creative talents to our Service people both near and far! What an absolute treasure.

Thank you for letting me share these gorgeous letters and photos week in, week out. It brings me so much happiness, and inspires me to keep creative and stay connected. Something as simple as thinking of someone is just so, so important.                    


Dear Wendy,

Just a short note to sincerely thank you for the recent gift of Aussie Hero Quilt. I love it.

What you and the team to do in support of our Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen and Airwomen is impressive and I know everyone is humbled when receiving these treasures.

After 36 years of service, and 9 tours overseas this quilt will forever be a reminder of the experiences along that journey. The detail is incredible.

Again, thank you so much for the kind gift and what you do.



It was wonderful to receive such a beautiful quilt in the mail during an overseas deployment with such limited contact with home. It is not often that so much care and effort goes into a gift for a stranger.

Thank you so much - it is something I will keep for the rest of my life as a memento of my time serving in the Navy and of my recent deployment in particular.

My mother and father both served in the Navy and my sister is a contractor to Defence in the ACT. In many ways our families give up as much as we do serving.

There seems to be a special bond created between serving members, and between the families of serving members. My service friends are indeed like family to me.

I love my job as an electronics technician and I appreciate every moment that I can serve with some of the finest people Australia has to offer.

I am often asked what country is my favourite, and inevitably my answer is Australia. The world is a wonderous place, but to me there really is no place that is quite like that great southern land.

Best wishes


Morning AHQ and Thelma,

Thanks for the awesome quilt and laundry bags. 

As we get home soon prior to decommissioning they will have to wait for the next time I go to sea, but they will definitely be coming with me to sea.



Good Afternoon Bridget,

I just wanted to write to say a big THANK YOU to you for the truly magnificent laundry bag and quilt that you made for me. I absolutely love them and you couldn't have picked better colours or patterns. 

Thank you also for your letter. It was lovely to read about you and your family, and I am touched that you would share the information with me. 

I am married, and my husband is also in the Air Force. I have 2 step-children. A daughter 17 and going into year 12 next year, and son, 15, starting year 10 next year. Unfortunately, we have no cheeky fur babies. 

I have been in the Air Force since 1996, but I haven't always been a nurse. I joined the military as a working dog handler. He was a fantastic dog and we used to be part of the RAAF display team as he knew when he was working and when he wasn't so he was able to be patted by people, which he loved. I re-mustered to Loadmaster after being in the Air Force for 7 years and flew on C130J Hercules, which I am sure you are accustomed.

I then decided to change jobs again, after many wonderful years flying hercs, and I went back to university to study Nursing. I've been at hospitals in ACT and NSW while also working in the health centre.

This deployment is my second as a nurse, with my first in 2016 in the Middle East. I was silly enough to not order a laundry bag or blanket on that deployment and have kicked myself ever since, so when the opportunity came up again, I jumped at the chance.

Again, thank you, for the laundry bag and blanket. The laundry bag will certainly travel with me on every trip I take in the future. The quilt will come in very useful and be dear to my heart.

I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and safe and happy new year.

Warm Regards.


Good Evening Ruth,

This is WO2 and I received a lovely laundry bag from you, just the evening before I flew back home to Australia from my overseas deployment.

It was a really great surprise and great timing. It arrived on 29 Nov. There has been a lot of delays with mail, so I was very glad to receive it.

The animals and patterns are fantastic and I really appreciate the care and effort you put into the design. 

Thank you again.

I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas and safe and happy new year.

Warm Regards.


Hi Aussie Heroes!

My wife has said there is a package for me but is waiting to open it until I get home (soon).



Hi Heather,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not writing earlier, but I only got my 'present' when I came home from sea. I absolutely love it.

It brought a tear to my eye and made me speechless for a few minutes, as I am not sure that I deserve something so beautifully made with both talent and love. I look forward to being able to be posted back to a ship and have it permanently on display on my rack for everyone to see and admire (and hopefully be just a little bit jealous)!

I am part of the Navy's mobile training team that bounces from ship to ship putting them through their paces to make sure they are safe to deploy. It is a rewarding job mentoring the junior medics/sailors at sea, but my family has become a poor second over the last 4 years. I am due to leave this job in a fortnight's time and am mixed emotions about that.

I had 1/4 life crisis and left my job as a Bank Manager in Tasmania to join the Navy. It came as a bit of a shock to my family who have always served in either the British or Australian Army as Infantry Officers. I met my husband when he was in the Navy in 2000. He also is the black sheep of the family joining the Navy as his family tee is 100% Army with his Grandfather and Great Grandfather being in the lighthouse Brigade during the charge. Needless to say, Christmas time gets a little bit interesting with Army / Navy rivalry.

Again, my heartfelt thank you for the beautiful quilt. I'm just looking at it with a big grin on my face. It's just perfect for me.

I hope you and your family stay safe and have a wonderful Christmas.

Take care.


From the Facebook Page:

Hi Robyn,

I just received your letter and laundry bag in PNG.

Thank you so much it was beautiful.

Such a great gift because I forgot my laundry bag on this trip!!


Good Morning Heather,

Thank you for your lovely long letter - I apologise that I can't respond in kind, but the outgoing mail from Asia has all but come to a halt amid the COVID restrictions over here.

I did want to drop you a line to let you know the laundry bags arrived yesterday - a small miracle in itself as there have been significant delays for even the incoming mail. They will be distributed to the next rotation of troops through Butterworth, early next year. But it's such a blessing for them to know that someone back home has remembered them, and I wanted to pass on their thanks in advance - judging from how the previous rotation received their laundry bags! and offer my own word of thanks for your continued support as well. With such strong connections to the Defence Force yourself - it's easy to see how the work of AHQ would mean so much.

Blessings for your Christmas and beyond!


Dear Heather,

Thank you so much for the tri coloured laundry bag! I didn't know what quite to expect when I ordered it, however, I am so glad I did. I absolutely love it.

Glad to see that there is another beagle lover out there. Mine looks as all beagles should, merry and healthy.

I loved reading not only about your story, but the stories of your family.


Dear Deb,

Thank you so much for my laundry bag. I LOVE IT.

I am soon to depart the Middle East, heading home to Queensland, and hopefully out of quarantine quickly. Just in time to reunite with my kids and enjoy the break. 

I can't wait to see them, this is the longest I have been apart from them. Cross fingers home quarantine comes into effect. 2 weeks chilling on the couch would be amazing.

Thanks again for the package. You and the other amazing volunteers do such an amazing job and you really do make our days when these packages arrive. This laundry bag will get lots of use next year as I have quite a few things on the cards, I'll be away for.

Kind Regards


   Short and sweet this week, but I hope you all had a safe and Merry Christmas, and were able to share the day with people you cared about. 

Till next week..

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