The Ayes of Texas by Daniel da Cruz
Del Rey/Ballantine Books, 1982
Price I paid: 90¢
It was 1994, but Gwillam Forte was an entrepreneur of the old school. Twenty-three disabled Veterans needed a reason to live, so he gave them a rusty hulk—the battleship U.S.S. Texas—and unlimited funds to make her beautiful and seaworthy in time for Independence Day, 2000.
But the world changed quickly and for the worse. By 1998, the Texas and her supermodern weapons were needed for duty far more important than guarding the National Monument in which she rode at anchor.