MINERAL WELLS -- Sgt. Major Hayward Bellah spent 30 years in the Army. He did 18 months in Vietnam.

He fought for this country, and he's not happy with its condition.

'You know, I never saw 'Republican' or 'Democrat' in a foxhole, and I've been in a lot of foxholes,' he said. 'They were all working to keep each other alive.'

He's irritated that the week-and-a-half old shutdown has trickled down to veterans.

'It literally makes me sick to my stomach when I see veterans that aren't getting the benefits they deserve,' he said. 'There are people suffering out there, families suffering, because they're not getting the benefits that they were supposed to get.'

Seven thousand workers with the Veterans Administration were furloughed this week. Benefit offices were shut down, including two in Texas.

The 'Million Vet March on the Memorials' grew out of frustration. It is planned for Sunday at the World War II Memorial. But because not everyone can travel, smaller, local rallies are planned, too.

Bellah is on the board of the National Vietnam War Museum in Mineral Wells, and that's where he will be Sunday at 8 a.m. The museum grounds are at 12685 US 180 in Mineral Wells.

He knows it's a small town, but he hopes it sends a loud message.

'We just want to be in harmony with our brothers and sisters in DC,' he said.

'Hopefully the people in Washington will get the idea that we aren't invisible. We aren't invisible. They haven't put us away yet,' he said. 'Please, take care of our veterans. Please.'


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