SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A 26-year-old decorated military hero was laid to rest at Saratoga National Cemetery far too soon. Army Specialist Codi Patenaude was buried with full military honors and promoted to Sergeant by his Company’s Commander.
Nearly 200 family members and friends gathered to salute the life of Patenaude. They stood silent and still as taps played and the gun salute rang out. The only sound heard was his mother and family weeping as Patenaude’s Company Commander handed them a folded American flag.
“It is the first time that I’ve had to do that in my 14 years of service,” Captain Patrick Shuart, Company Commander, said. “I don’t know how I held it together to speak to his brother because I can only imagine how that feels to be sitting in that seat in front of me.”
Codi Patenaude joined the Army National Guard in 2015. This year, he returned from a deployment in Kuwait. However, shortly after his return home, Codi suddenly passed away—only days before Memorial Day on May 28. Shuart said the cause of his death is unknown at this time.
“Cody was a prankster, also full of life,” Shuart said. “If I was to describe him; He was the guy that you needed, where you needed, when you needed him, and as fast as you needed.”
He remembered Patenaude as a friend who lit up every room he walked into with a smile and could always make you laugh when you needed it most. Even the most mundane of tasks, Patenaude put in his full effort and brought a positive attitude.
Captain Shuart was deployed with Patenaude and others from the 42nd Infantry Division—a division of the Army National Guard—to Kuwait for Operation Spartan Shield, where he served as a mechanic. After deployment, he received the Army Achievement Medal for distinguished service and the Meritorious Unit Citation along with his entire unit.
Many of his brothers and sisters from the 42nd Infantry Division were in attendance. They are known best as the “Rainbow Division,” but they call it a family.
“I can tell you that his family was first and foremost to him. Not just his biological family, but he considered friends as family, he considered his army buddies as family,” Shuart said.
Codi was a beloved son and cherished Uncle. A member of Patenaude’s family told News10’s Stephanie Rivas that his nephew and God Son, Tanner, held a special place in his heart.
Shuart said the turnout for Patenaude’s ceremony is a testament to his life of service and commitment to his family and friends.
“I couldn’t imagine a better turn out for him, to honor him and to honor his family,” Shuart said. “I just wish I’d gotten to see him do more. I wish I’d gotten to see him go to his next assignment. I had to promote him in front of his family, which I was glad to do, but I would have much rather been in my formation.”
Captain Patrick Shuart promoted Specialist Patenaude to Sergeant Codi T. Patenaude in front of his mother Sharon Rotelli Patenaude, his father Vince Razzano, and his brother Chris (Devan) Patenaude before they laid him at his final resting place.