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Free Post: Thanks for going to Iraq!!  Oh your… umm… welcome?

March 25, 2009 by Tyler

So about 2 weeks ago I was at the PSULPAC’s (PSU Lion’s Performance Auto Club) dinner after the weekly meeting. As I’m sitting down with the club members eating dinner it somehow comes up that I was in the Army.

Dave, the one Mustang owner across the table asked where I had been stationed. I told him where and one of those places was Iraq. He started asking questions and I gave him answers. He was interested and at the end of it all he looked me in the eye and said “Well thanks a lot for that.” I had heard that before and said my standard response: “Oh your… no prob-... yup!” as I nodded my head and smiled.

Yeah, that’s right. I stumbled on my words like a kid who forgot to tie his shoelaces and didn’t wear velcro. I have never known WHAT to say to a person that says that.

Your Welcome? Seems to personal. Like I did it specifically just for them.

No problem? Weeellll… it kind of WAS. It was a big problem. With much hardship and suffering and scary moments.

Any time? I’d rather not go back again so, yeah that’d be a bit of a lie.

Don’t mention it? Well that kind of demeans my service and the fact that this person is sincerely thanking me.

It’s nothing? Are you kidding me?? It was a BIG something!!

It was my pleasure? No, it really wasn’t a pleasure. I felt good serving America. Really good. But a PLEASURE to be shot at? That’s a bit of a stretch.

Oh that’s not necessary? I’d feel like I was blowing off his “thankyou”.

Sit there and nod with a dumb grin/look on my face? Well that IS the most ‘Tyleresque’. But probably the LEAST appropriate.

So I’ve never known what to do. I know I did a good thing over there. I know it was hard but I signed up to do that job. I did it very well at that. I gave four years of my life in service to my country and gave it my all. And this person wants to thank me for it. So what do you guys say after someone thanks you?

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, though. Maybe I shouldn’t be focusing on the response so much as be happy that there is a person looking at me sincerely, grateful for the sacrifice I gave. Something they know was truly good, and they deeply appreciate. So I guess to Dave and all the others that have thanked me I say -

Your Welcome. And I do mean that.



March 27, 2009

I was never stationed in Iraq - only deployed there. A small but significant difference.

And my usual response, “Well hey, someone had to do it…you’re welcome.”


March 28, 2009

When I get thanks for your service, I usually say I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I guess this applies more to those still in, but it is the honest truth when it comes to my military service. I love what I do and I love being a Marine!


April 01, 2009

I like those responses guys!  smile


April 07, 2009

Tyler, Thank you for your post and for sharing your thoughts on this. You identify an interesting and complex moment. It suggests the difficult of truly acknowledging what it means to give so much of yourself to something/someone else. How does one really show appreciation for that…for me, “thank you” is as insufficient a response as “your welcome,” but then those are just the words that are intended to represent the true deeper meaning…and even for one as in love with words as I am, it is certainly true that words are sometimes insufficient to convey the deep pools of meaning that reside in an exchange like the one you described

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