Fos­ter­ing close knit re­la­tion­ship

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - By CAITLIN TILLER

GRATE­FUL Aus­tralian troops have thanked the Re­turned Ser­vices League of WA (RSL WA) for send­ing them more than 2000 hand­made bean­ies and scarves late last year.

By Novem­ber, RSL WA Poppy Ladies from across the state had knit­ted thou­sands of woollen items for Aus­tralian sol­diers in Iraq and Afghanistan to wear through the win­ter.

Sol­diers pro­vid­ing lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port in Afghanistan signed a let­ter ad­dressed to RSL WA pres­i­dent Gra­ham Ed­wards and mem­bers of RSL WA to thank them for the gifts, say­ing they were “over­whelmed” at the “fan­tas­tic sur­prise”.

“It is very cold and ap­prox­i­mately -4 de­grees ev­ery morn­ing, so the bean­ies are per­fect,” the let­ter said. “The Reg­i­men­tal Sergeant Ma­jor may not be too im­pressed at the colour­ful bean­ies we are wear­ing with our drab uni­forms but he knows that lots of ef­fort and love went into mak­ing them so we can con­tinue to wear them.”

An­other let­ter from an In­fantry Sergeant posted to Kabul in Afghanistan said his pla­toon (aged 19-38) had re­ceived the “awe­some hand­made scarves and bean­ies”.

“The men are so grate­ful know­ing that ev­ery day Aus­tralians back home are think­ing of us dur­ing this time,” he said.

“We thank you for your time, fi­nan­cial in­put and the amount of thought and care placed into cre­at­ing th­ese very warm items of cloth­ing.”

Mr Ed­wards said he was grate­ful on be­half of the women for the kind ac­knowl­edge­ments re­ceived from Aus­tralian De­fence Force (ADF) mem­bers who thanked them for their ef­forts.

“I also know th­ese women are qui­etly thrilled to re­ceive th­ese re­sponses,” Mr Ed­wards said.

“It can get very lonely on post­ings over­seas and as one of the notes says, our troops take great so­lace in the fact that the RSL com­mu­nity has put a lot of love into mak­ing th­ese items; in­deed, they have.

“This is not just some­thing to keep ADF mem­bers warm but also a gift from the heart which lets them know they are in our thoughts.”

Aus­tralian men and women pro­vid­ing lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port in Afghanistan with the scarves and bean­ies sent by RSL.

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