"So they were still homeless and kind of floating around everywhere," he said. "The problem was, they never came back to see him, so we, for like $65 for filing fees, ended up getting joint custody of him."
When Cody's mother got pregnant again a year later, he adopted the boy's sister, Faith, too.
"Cody and Faith [are the] best thing that's ever happened to me," Patrick said. "So many people have kids and they don't appreciate them, but they really are the treasure of life."
Patrick and his wife, Tara, moved to Putnam County in 2010 after he retired from the Navy.
He was introduced to West Virginia while traveling through from Norfolk to Columbus.
"Every time we drove through West Virginia, the people were so nice," he said. "Look at the geography here, it's so beautiful."
So when he retired, Putnam County is where the family decided to look for a home.
"I'm very fortunate that I got to pick the best place in the world where I wanted to live," Patrick said, "and this is right where it is."
It was also in 2010 that he was diagnosed with cancer. He found out while having a physical exam when he retired. He says, though, that he has been cancer free for nearly three years.
Patrick said he looks forward to working in the emergency room at Memorial and treating different types of people than he did as corpsman with the Navy. Most of the patients there were young and healthy, he said.
After 22 years with the military, he's also looking forward to treating cases that are not trauma, he said.
Patrick said he eventually wants to work with veterans who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder. He wants to fight against the negative stereotypes of veterans with PTSD, he said.
Veterans often are dealing with normal feelings to abnormal situations, he said.
Patrick said he's grateful for the reception he got from fellow Americans after his service.
"I think America is doing an excellent job of recognizing the sacrifice of veterans," he said. "It hasn't always. My heart goes out to vets who didn't have that.
"We can't forget that all veterans are veterans, not just the CNN headline vets."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.