The shutdown triggered when the legislative and executive branches of federal government were unable to adopt a funding bill affected some, but not all citizens and federal employees. The shutdown focused on areas considered as "non-essential."

Members of the military, but not civilian employees of the Department of Defense, continued to serve as did federal law enforcement agents, air traffic controllers and federal prison corrections officers.

Social Security and other benefit payments were maintained, but the IRS is considered "non-essential" so as much as $4 billion of tax refunds were frozen.

The National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control were hard hit, making timely updates of the national flu epidemic an iffy proposition.

The National Park Service shutdown can be seen at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park where the gates to Point Park and the visitor center there and at the main park office in Fort Oglethorpe were closed to visitors. Rangers said the public would still have access to the park's open spaces and roads.

All veteran's disability application reviews were put on hold.

Mail service was unaffected, as the U.S. Postal Service has its own revenue source.

Mike O'Neal is assistant editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga. He can be reached at the Messenger office at 706-638-1859 and by email at moneal@npco.com.