The new year brought a new beginning for 21-year-old Army Pvt. Jimmy Richards.
This January, the Army brought the father of two to Fort Gordon. He left his home in search of a better life for his wife and children.
"I wanted to serve my country and support my family," he said.
Pvt. Richards and his wife, Kristin, have a 2-year-old daughter, Adryanna, and 5-month-old son, Hayden.
For almost two weeks, Pvt. Richards has been working with the other members of the 447th Signal Battalion of the 15th Signal Brigade in Warrior Ethos Training. The soldiers have been facing simulated urban situations similar to what they would face in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If Pvt. Richards were deployed to the "Sandbox," he would benefit from the urban training. And that might not be so bad, he said.
"It doesn't bother me. If I go, I'll go."
A native of Rogersville, Tenn., Pvt. Richards hasn't been in Augusta for a month yet. He finished basic training at Fort Jackson in Columbia in December, had a few weeks of leave for Christmas and has been at Fort Gordon since Jan. 3.
Pvt. Richards joined the signal corps because he "always liked dealing with computers."
"I want to stay in for a career," he said. "I plan on putting in at least 20 years."
That means Pvt. Richards might have to move several times. But his wife doesn't mind.
"She doesn't like staying in one place too long," he said.
Pvt. Jimmy Richards (center) draws his weapon on Spc. Eugene Wright (right) during a room clearing exercise at Fort Gordon. The 447th Signal Battalion of the 15th Signal Brigade is training in situations like those they might face overseas.