Tribute to William “Buddy” Sentner

Remarks Delivered by Ronald J. Green
Former Special Agent, U.S. Secret Service
Friend and Colleague
St. James Cathedral, Orlando, Florida

June 24, 2006

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Buddy meant a lot to all of us. Of all the things he’d want us to remember him for, he’d like us to remember just how much of a fun guy he was to be around. If he were here to watch this, I know that every time I shed a tear, he would smile his big toothy grin, get a wild look in his eyes, and say something like, “c’mon Green, cry for me you big baby”…knowing he would have created our running joke for the day.

A day with Buddy was guaranteed to be a day with a few laughs in it. Even a day with drawn guns, yelling, chasing, handcuffs flying, tires screeching, or just lots of mundane and tedious paper work was a day that would be funny with Buddy around.

Even when he was in a great deal of physical pain, Buddy was fun. While in Phoenix, Buddy had a tough time with a kidney stone, and another agent in our office had a cancerous skin patch just below his eye that needed surgery. So out of his office that week, Buddy puts this big chart in the hallway. On this chart he allowed us all to track the progress of his kidney stone, and the movement of the other agent’s eye. These dark moments would become moments of long hard laughter, because of him.

We started out as agents in the office at the same time so we learned pretty much everything together like how to arrest, write search warrants, and do paperwork all the standard agent stuff. When my first daughter was born we learned a lot together as well. My wife was still in the hospital because of some complications and it was up to Buddy and me to take care of the baby. I remember having to change a diaper with him. It was the first he’d changed. It was my second, so I was the lead. You have to picture this…he’s holding my daughter up, the baby hasn’t been wiped yet, she is still going and crying her head off, I was fumbling trying to get the diaper deployed. Buddy turned around with a slightly fearful look and said “Green what do we do now?” It is a sight that still makes me laugh each time I remember it.

If there was anything I would wish for my friend, it is that he’d had a chance to be the father that he wanted to become. He would have made a truly awesome dad.

Maria had a chance to look at my statement before I read it for you today. She wanted me to add that she truly loved Buddy and after she saw just how much fun he had being around my kids, how much he loved to play with them and be that funny uncle that my kids loved to talk about long after his visit was over, she knew he was the man she wanted to have children with. Having children of their own was a dream they shared together.

We should remember Buddy as a husband, a son, as family, as a friend, a brother in arms, as a fallen hero. But, more importantly, we need to remember Buddy as a guy who made each day fun, and a day worth remembering.