​​​Mr. Butts is known for his dynamic motivational speaking to veterans and their families. He believes that no one has the right to talk about combat unless they have been there and done that.

One of his major inspirational, moving and motivational readings is the incredible LOST SOUL. This is a reading that follows Dennis as a 20 year old Marine on a journey from the Macon Delta to Con Thien. He spent nine month in hell under intense combat at places with names only known to the men of the Marines in the DMZ (Dead Marine Zone). Con Thien, Gio Linh, Street of No Joy, Peace Church and the Market Place. On Con Thien in September 1967.

 Mr. Butts FO/RO and Delta Battery and took over 1200 rounds of heavy artillery on the hill every day. The hill was no larger that 200 square yards. OP 1 was the northern point in South Vietnam. It was named the HILL OF Angels. Mr. Butts was wounded for the last time with three Purples Hearts along with 35 other Marines that day dead or wounded.  HE WAS 20 YEARS OLD. 

He has written several articles on Con Thien including a very moving account written titled the 20 Days In September.  Mr. Butts was  dead went through the light, told BY GOD he could not go to  HEAVEN and had to go back, buried  alive and wounded on September 4, medevac to D Med but while he was there waiting for treatment of his wounds, he new he was needed on the hill and got off the stretcher and got on a chopper and when back to the Hill. His leg had shrapnel wounds, knee was hyperextended and lower leg fractured . He made it for another 20 Days and hit for the last time on the 24 of September. 

If there is a hell the guys who survived Con Thien and Gio Linh have been there. In two years holding that hill we lost over 1900 Marines killed and 9000 wounded on a place 200 yards by 200 yards, a place in HELL, CALLED THE HILL OF ANGELS.


                                                                                           Lost Soul

                                                                        A Conversation with MY SOUL

This is my stories of where I left MY SOUL in Viet Nam. There is not one place but many. It is where we hope to go and fine what is left of us the very thing that made us hurt so bad for so many years maybe we can find it may be not. I know where to find mine someday.

​This is my stories of where I left MY SOUL in Viet Nam. There is not one place but many. It is where we hope to go and fine what is left of us the very thing that made us hurt so bad for so many years maybe we can find it may be not. I know where to find mine someday.

I began to feel MY SOUL trying to leave me the first day I arrived in Viet Nam on January 4, 1967. We were heading to the red beach in the Macon Delta on operation Deck House Five. The sudden feeling that for the first time I know that someone was waiting to kill me, and I was going to be killing many people. I could feel this strange feeling in my heart like something trying to get out of my chest. I remember saying it just my nerves, but I now know better it was MY SOUL saying I need to leave you now, you will not be needing me for a while.

When the doors of the Amtrak opened and I final was on the beach, I began to understand what MY SOUL was saying to me. My first fire mission at another human being trying to kill him, it became clear you had to leave me MY SOUL, I couldn’t do this with you along MY SOUL.

I could hear MY SOUL say I will rejoin you when this is over, for a while, you need to do this without me. I could literal feel MY SOUL leaving me.

We killed many men on that operation, not sure how many woman and children we killed, with my fire missions. I saw our Marines who were wounded and killed. I understood why MY SOUL could not be there for that.

Back on the ship after the operation I felt MY SOUL come back and I started to remember the good things. Thing that made me happy, but they were not the same, part on MY SOUL was left on that beach. I said to myself someday maybe I can come back and find it like a lost wallet. I had lived, but knew this was just the beginning of my journey into hell.

We went north from the Macon to Phu Bi a Marine base in the southern part of I Corp. we started to pull operations from there, for a few weeks on each one we killed and were killed. I began to feel MY SOUL saying see you when you get back. You know I can’t go with you.

We moved north toward Dong Ha to an outpost in the middle of nowhere. This is when MY SOUL began to leave me to many time to count and sometimes I didn’t even notice anymore. MY SOUL would try to tell me each time but there were some many times so many operations so many missions I couldn’t keep track. It was like having a girlfriend who keeps trying to tell you if you don’t stop what you are doing, going to help your friends, I will leave you forever, because you’re never here anymore. But I can’t stop I have to go don’t you understand MY SOUL, I have to go,  I would say to myself I have to go and I did go again and again.

 Inside I would know something was wrong and would say, please be here when I get back in my own way to MY SOUL. It hurt every time, but off I would go into Hell, each time leaving a little piece of me behind on every fire mission or operation. MY SOUL would tell me when I would get back that I am soon not going to have anything to come back to. It hurt so bad knowing that I may never have MY SOUL again, but I kept saying, I will come back and find each piece and put MY SOUL together again someday. I said that every time I walked off that hill into that valley of death. Theirs deaths, ours, didn’t matter anymore it was all death.

I found something in the little village that sat below us in the face of hell. Something that for a while I thought, thanks you MY SOUL you are here I am happy. It was a little Vietnamese girl named Lilly or at least that’s what we named her, with a big red hat with a dirty white feather plume. She was all of maybe ten year old. But she gave me hope that I still had you MY SOUL. You, me and Lilly. But I started to become sacred that this was going to become the thing that made you leave me forever MY SOUL. I was beginning to feel again. She was so innocent just a little girl in a red hat with a dirty white plume. You knew better MY SOUL, I should have known because you were always there with us. She saved my live four time and you knew the price she would pay MY SOUL didn’t you. That’s why you stayed with me. I should have known.

You knew my best friend Harry had written his letter about dying on April the 5th you knew what was going to happen to didn’t you. That’s why you stayed with me for a while.

The night of April 3, 1967, you knew that you and I would soon be no more, I know that now. When I walked by and saw my best friend sitting there in the dark and rain you knew. When he said Denny make sure they send my body home you knew didn’t you MY SOUL. I could feel you trying so hard to help me. When I told him shut up Harry, you knew it was almost time. When we walked past Lilly’s little village, you knew I would never see her alive again didn’t you. I could feel you leaving me and hear you saying Denny, you know I can’t go with you I am your Soul and you will lose a big part of me in the next couple days. I will try to be here when you return, I will try.

The last time I saw my friend you were not there you knew better. I saw him on that paddy dike and he said Denny make sure they send my body home, I was glad you were not there.  

When we went into that village that night I was glad you were not there to see what I did to the NVA and those people in that village. I am glad you were not there when I heard they killed Harry, and all our guys and how much I hated them for it. I knew you were not with me MY SOUL or I could never have done what I did.

The next day we moved north, always north and found that well, where we drank the bloody water. The blood of the Nuns and the Priest. I am glad you were not there with me. But maybe I could still find you someday.

 But when I came back to find you and Lilly, you were both gone, they killed Lilly and I guess you couldn’t wait for me MY SOUL.

They ask if I wanted to go home with Harry and I said no, I had no Soul, what could do, what could I say to help.

We moved north again, always north into hell. We moved to Gio Linh into the DMZ (Dead Marine Zone). It was hell there MY SOUL, so many of us died and were wounded there. So glad you were not there with me. Could not have done what I had to do if you were with me MY SOUL. When I was wounded I was glad you were not there to hear me saying what I was saying and screaming MY SOUL, but it hurt so badly and I knew I was alone.

We moved northwest this time into the deepest part of hell known as Con Thien. Such a small place, I really thought Hell would be bigger. Con Thien, Hill of Angles it was a good name MY SOUL, so many of us died on and around that hill. I always hoped I could find you up there, but I knew you wouldn’t be there, not there. When I was hit in that bunker and was dead and was going through the light to heaven, I wanted to know you were there with me. But when God told me I could not go and had to go back, I knew you were not there, you can’t enter heaven without your soul. I thought that’s why he said I had to go back and keep doing it and doing it MY SOUL, I had to find you.

When I was hit the last time and they were telling me I was done, going home and I wanted off that chopper, it wasn’t because I was brave and want to die with my guys, as much as it was I had to fine you MY SOUL and if I left I could never find you ever, I couldn’t leave.

Well it’s been forty six year MY SOUL and I still have not found you, but I keep looking like all of us combat veterans do.  I thank you for not being at all those places in Hell otherwise there would be nothing left of you to find, you would be gone forever torn apart just like me. I will keep searching I know you are here, so I will continue my Journey to GOD and maybe he will let me in Heaven this time and maybe you will come with me to see Harry and all the guys in heaven.

It’s been a long Journey to God but he knew what he was doing and I have more work to do he tells me so my journey is not over yet. I have figured out where you are MY SOUL you are with Harry and he has been protecting you and me, so I am ok. You went home with Harry when I couldn’t. Thank you for doing that. Lilly has been watching over me all these years, my Little Guardian Angel.  I will come find you when this is all done MY SOUL and I will be with Harry, Lilly and the other guys, this time you will be with me MY SOUL and our Journey to God will be over.

Dennis M Butts

Three Purple Heart Awardee/All American Hero Awardee

Marine Corps Combat Viet Nam Veteran