Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Big Ones

By Julie Rahm
The first incident recognized as a "Big One" occurred during the 1990 Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Pole sitter Greg Sacks was in a pack of cars running three wide through the tri-oval at the completion of lap one. Sacks' car was sent spinning in front of the rest of the field. Approaching turn one, twenty-two more cars were collected in the huge pileup. The top six cars escaped the incident. Dale Earnhardt dominated the depleted field and won the race. This is regarded as the original NASCAR "Big One". NASCAR clearly trumps the Army in patch wearing. But, one Army shoulder patch is special.
Because of its shoulder patch, the “Big Red One” is the official name of the First Infantry Division. This infantry division is the oldest in the United States Army and has seen continuous service since 1917. During World War II, the 1st Infantry Division fought in the North African Campaign from January to May 1943 and helped secure Tunisia. In July 1943, the division invaded Sicily during Operation Husky. Lieutenant General George S. Patton specifically requested the Big Red One as part of his forces for the invasion. It was in Sicily that the 1st saw heavy action when making amphibious landings opposed by Italian and German tanks at the Battle of Gela. The 1st then moved up through the center of Sicily, slogging it out through the mountains. When that campaign was over, the division returned to England and prepared for the eventual Normandy invasion. The First Infantry Division comprised the first wave of troops that assaulted German defenses on Omaha Beach on D-Day. The division secured Formigny and Caumont in the beachhead by the end of the day. The division drove across France, reaching the German border at Aachen in September. When the German “Battle of the Bulge” offensive was launched on 16 December 1944, the division was moved to the Ardennes front. Fighting continuously until January 1945, the division helped reverse the German offensive and win the war. A little known fact, comedian Redd Foxx did not fight in World War II. He dodged the draft by eating half a bar of soap before his physical, a trick that resulted in heart palpitations. Foxx’s real name was John Sanford.
John Elroy Sanford achieved widespread fame starring in the television sitcom, Sanford and Son. The series premiered on NBC, January 14, 1972 and was broadcast for six seasons. Sanford played the role of Fred Sanford. Demond Wilson played the role of his son Lamont. As you recall, Fred and Lamont were owners of a junk/salvage store. When angry with Lamont, Fred would often fake heart attacks by putting his hand on his chest and saying, "It's the big one. I'm coming to join 'ya honey/Elizabeth."
So this week, I ask you, what are the "Big Ones" in your life? Do they include your relationships, career, or finances? The roadmap for your life can be better defined by aligning your "Big Ones". If you'd like tips on how best to do that, visit me online at

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