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.”