"BLASTERS TO THE READY!"
by William E. Collins
The Gunny yelled "BLASTERS TO THE READY!" I popped the ejection
button, took my ammo cassette out, flipped it over and re-inserted. At the same time I was slamming the loading door closed, I brought my blaster to my right shoulder, cross arm saluted and returned to the ready.
Today was the day. While marching to battle I'd get my first chance to use my weapon for the good of mankind. I'd been practicing for months just for this day. It seemed as though my whole life was in preparation for today. I wondered if I'd succeed or fail.
Thoughts of Roman Legions, Christians and Lions, Foreign Legionnaires, of life, love and happiness filled my mind. Would there be any at the end of the day? Would I be one of the ones to fall?
Then it was my turn. I readied my blaster, turning it from stun to max… I can see thousands of them out there. What will this outcome be?
I ready my blaster…
place my finger on the button…
then I press… There is a roar so loud that my knees
quiver. I feel I want to wet my pants. The roar is getting louder as I play my blaster over the thousands of people in front of me...
With a squeal the final assault is coming… the
roar abates a bit and I can hear the immortal words...
With a squeal and a roar the blaster puts out the only known surviving recording of Jimi Hendrix performing "The Star Spangled Banner." I own it and, and, like my father before me, I will play it once a year at the World Series for others to hear.