Photo: "Dancing With the Stars" Winner J.R. Martinez is a Busy Man
After winning the 13th season of ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars” it seems veteran-turned-actor J.R. Martinez is a very popular and a rather busy man.
Shortly after winning the dancing competition Martinez, 28, received both a call and letter from the U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who not only congratulated him on his victory, but also invited him to visit the Pentagon and meet with him.
Panetta’s letter said Martinez’s spirit during the competition “captivated the nation” and said his victory “sends a powerful message about the strength and resilience of our wounded warriors.”
On top of that honor, in November, Martinez was asked to be the Grand Marshal of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade on January 1.
In a statement, Tournament of Roses President Rick James said, “His (Martinez) outlook on life is admirable, and we couldn’t be happier to have the chance to celebrate the New Year with him as we entertain the million of fans around the world during the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.”
On Thursday, Dec. 1, the role model will also appear at the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) 25th Anniversary Gala’s Victory Awards in Washington D.C.
After his vehicle inadvertently drove over a landmine while he was serving in Iraq in 2003, Martinez was burned on over 40 percent of his body. His fight to learn to walk again after his foot was severely damaged served as a testament to his strength. After 34 months in the hospital and more than 30 cosmetic and skin-graft surgeries, he went on to inspire many as a motivational speaking, actor on the day-time soap opera “All My Children”, and of course the winner of “Dancing with the Stars”.