My Sailor’s Story

by Linda Jo Heffner


“To read ‘Tainted Seas: My Sailor’s Story’, one must have a carton of tissues for tears of sadness and clean underwear after pissing their pants in laughter.”

After years of encouragement from her children, Linda completed her adventure into the past.

First begun as merely a personal history for family and friends, ‘Tainted Seas: My Sailor’s Story’ is an intimate look at the life of a woman, her three children, and the sailor with whom she fell in love. Through joy and heartache, this young family’s story paints a picture of their 1970s Navy life and all that goes along with it—the happiness and celebration of new beginnings, the sadness of separation, the camaraderie of community, and the grim consequences of the Vietnam war.

Look for ‘Tainted Seas: My Sailor’s Story’ to be available on or before November 11, 2021. A sample chapter is available here.

Tainted Seas: My Sailor's Story

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I froze, my feet stuck firmly to the floor. I gasped at the room in front of me. Every muscle in my body stiffened, and a white fog flowered behind my eyes. A man took my mother’s coat and hung it on a clothes rack.

When he returned for my coat, I panicked and ran outside to the snow-dusted sidewalk. A steel-gray sky bleakly surrounded us as the bitter cold November winds blasted me. I wrapped my arms around myself, trying to shield my body. I stomped one nervous foot down after another, rocking side to side. I closed my eyes in resolute determination and said out loud, “Not going in there. I can’t.”

“Linda, you must do this,” Mom said, gently taking my arm to guide me inside, but I stood firm with my feet frozen in place.

“I’m not going in there!”

Mom put her arms around me, her body quivering. I pleaded, “I can’t go in there. Not this place. I cannot!”

“What do you want to do?” Mom said softly.

“I want to go home. I want to go home to my Bud!” I cried softly. “He promised me forever, and he never breaks his promises. Never.”