Just Another Day

Disclaimer: I own nothing so don't bother suing. You'd only get a pile of dirty laundry and my massive supply of cough drops. I will return any recognizable characters once I am done.

A/N: This was an idea I got after talking to the hubby last night (best present was him calling) and is dedicated to all military personnel and their families that have to spend the holidays apart from each other. It sucks, but their efforts and sacrifices are appreciated.

Warning: None, just my depressing thoughts.

Season: Take your pick.
'Twas the day after the night before Christmas and all was relatively quiet in the SGC.

Sergeant Walter Harriman sat back in his chair in front of the dialing computer that controlled the functioning of the Stargate and sighed. Even though it was Christmas, life in the military did not grind to a complete halt. Places needed guarded, machines needed maintained, vigilance was always necessary least there be an attack from an enemy.

The SGC was no different than any other American base in the world. They were at war, albeit a secret war, with an enemy that didn't take a day off from efforts at annihilating planet Earth. The Goa'uld didn't care that it was the anniversary of the birth of Christ. They didn't care that the stockings were hung with care and they sure as all hell didn't care about children asleep with visions of sugar plums in their heads.

Granted activities were scaled back for today. All non-essential personnel had been given the day off (in fact most of them had left the day at 1501 if they could). However, certain people had drawn a shift for Christmas day. Sentries were necessary to guard the Gate, least something unpleasant (including the Tok'ra) comes through the Gate. There had to be a medical staff on duty in case someone – namely Siler – injured themselves. Even SG-1 was on duty as the first response team. Granted they were all hanging out in Dr. Jackson's lab watching The Goonies and Die Hard, they were present and ready for immediate action if the situation called for it.

Also on duty were technicians like him-self that had to maintain a presence in the control room, ready to close or open the iris if the situation called for it. They also had to be there in case a team that was off-world (SG-5 and SG-16 were currently off-world) needed to come through the gate or needed information, supplies, or backup. They didn't get the day off.

For them and many others, it was just another day.

The cafeteria staff had gone out of their way to make a special brunch for those on duty as a way to help raise people's spirits, but it didn't really make up for the fact that many of the people on base would rather be with their families on that special day.

Harriman had had Christmas Eve off and had spent the day and night with his family. They had had a nice Christmas dinner together, gone to midnight Mass, and he and his wife had watched their kids unwrap their Christmas presents, knowing that the next day he would not be with them. Christmas Eve had become, at least for this year, their Christmas Day, a time for family and togetherness.

He had it better, he thought to himself, than many others. Not even considering SG-5 and 16, he had it ten times better than many of his fellow service members. Many of his friends that he had since he had first enlisted, those that were still in the Air Force, that were not a part of the SGC program had it worse.

Kenny he knew was in Tikrit. Jim was in Kirkuk. Lisa was in Mosul and at least a couple of others were at Al Asad. One of his friends, Joel, he did not feel too sorry for since he was stationed at Ramstein, the lucky bastard. He would have to check his email, but he was pretty sure that a couple more people he knew were in Afghanistan and Korea.

All of them were separated from their families, on tours that would last at least a year or more, praying that their requests for leave would come through. They got to talk to their spouse and kids through an occasional phone call or through email (which was a bit more frequent and reliable). It sucked for each and every one of them being away from home, not sleeping in their own beds, enjoying the conveniences of modern American life – Starbucks, first run movies, and working in places that did not smell like a broken sewer pipe. Granted things weren't like they were for the troops in World War II, it still wasn't great.

He had it much better than many of his friends. He got to go home after his shift to his wife and kids, sleep next to his wife, drink a beer or two if he wanted to, and watch television that did not have the stupid commercials produced by the Armed Forces Network.

"Anything to report Walter?" the General, who also drew duty for the day, asked quietly, staring out at the Gate through the thick bullet-proof glass.

"No sir. Quiet as a mouse," Harriman reported, pushing his glasses up on his nose.

The General chuckled. "Quiet is a good thing Airman. You've been here long enough to know that."

"Yes sir, just another day at the SGC," Harriman agreed just as the Gate suddenly started to spin, symbols lighting up, and smoke started to pour out of hidden areas.

"Just another day," the General agreed. "Close the iris, standard SOP Walter," Hammond sighed.

"Unauthorized Gate activity. SG-1 report to the control room," Harriman announced over the base intercom as sirens started to wail and red emergency lights started flashing, warning everyone that something was up.

Emergencies did not know a holiday and Christmas Day was no exception. For the SGC, like all of the other military installations across the globe (and the Alpha site on PX3-861), it was indeed just another day.


A/N: What do you think? Crap or not? Hit the shiny review button and let me know what you think.

I got this idea after talking to my husband on the phone last night, which was the best thing in the world. He even told me that for him this year Christmas was just another day. He and countless others couldn't take the day off because they had their jobs to do. Granted this is a bit depressing in my opinion, I wanted some realism with this story.

As for the names, they are just names. The places named are of course sites where the military is at in Iraq. You can look it up on the internet.

Seriously, while the majority of the country does care about the people in the military, please don't forget those that are left behind. Ask them if they are doing okay. See if they need someone to shovel their driveway, or if they just to talk. That will mean so much to them.

Have a happy New Year!