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Latino Daily News

Tuesday August 30, 2011

Get to Know ‘Dancing With the Stars’ J. R. Martinez (VIDEO)

Get to Know ‘Dancing With the Stars’ J. R. Martinez (VIDEO)

Photo: José René Martínez

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Meet J.R. Martínez, “All My Children” actor, war hero, and the newest addition to “Dancing With the Stars.”  Jose Rene Martinez was born on June 14, 1983 in Shreveport, Louisiana, but grew up in Hope, Arkansas. His family hails from El Salvador.

Right before his senior year of high school, he and his mother moved to Dalton Georgia, where J.R. played strong safety on the Catamounts, the Dalton High School football team, and went to the Georgia State Championships.

After graduating, J.R. decided to join the army, to serve the nation that “had already given so much to him and his family,” as he puts it in his website.

In March of 2003, J.R. was deployed to Iraq, and on April 5, less than a month into his deployment, he was serving as a driver of a Humvee in Karbala, when his left front tire hit a land-mine. Three other soldiers with J.R. were ejected from the burning vehicle, but Martinez was trapped inside. J.R. suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body. Martinez claims that while he was fighting for his life and awaiting medical help in Iraq, his sister Anabel, who passed away when J.R. was a child, appeared to him, giving him the strength to stay alive.

After he was pulled out of the Humvee, J.R. was evacuated to a local medic station in Iraq and then Landstuhl, Germany, for immediate care. He was eventually sent to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, Texas. J.R. spent 34 months in recovery at BAMC and underwent 33 different surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.

While still in recovery, a nurse asked J.R. to have a word with patient who had became withdrawn after seeing himself for the first time after being severely burned.

After an approximate 45-minute visit, the patient opened the curtain letting light in his room and his heart. J.R. then understood the impact he had on this patient and decided to use his experience to help others, visiting with several of the patients in the hospital, sharing his story and listening to theirs.

In October of 2008, J.R. joined the cast of ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama “All My Children” as combat veteran Brot Monroe.

J.R will be joining the cast of the upcoming Dancing With the Stars 13. DWTSGossip published on their twitter account

“Exclusive!
Here are your celebs:

nancy grace, kristin cavalleri, riki lake, chynna phillips, hope solis, elizabetta canalis. david arquette,rob kardashian,ryan oneal, Jr. martinez, chaz bono, ron artest

Here are your pros:

Tony, Derek, Mark, Val, Tristan, Maks, Cheryl, Kym, PETA, Karina,Lacey,Anna.”

Take a look at the video below for more J.R, and don’t miss him in Dancing With the Stars 13!