Dancing with the Stars
Season Premiere Monday, September 15, 8:00-10:00 p.m.

J.R. MARTINEZ -- J.R. Martinez is an Iraq War veteran, motivational speaker and actor on ABC's "All My Children." In April 2003, at 19 years of age, Martinez was serving as a humvee driver for the United States Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine. He suffered smoke inhalation and burns to more than 40 percent of his body. He was immediately evacuated and sent to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, TX, where he spent 34 months in recovery. Since his injury, Martinez has undergone 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. While in recovery, he started speaking to other burn patients within the hospital, sharing his experiences and listening to theirs. News of his story and efforts to help others quickly spread, first on a local level and then to national circuits, leading to appearances on "Oprah," "60 Minutes," CNN and more. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Martinez has traveled the country since 2004, spreading his message of resilience and optimism. Today he is a sought-after motivational speaker and has shared the stage with many notable individuals. In October 2008, he joined the cast of ABC's Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama, "All My Children," as combat veteran Brot Monroe. He continues to balance his motivational speaking engagements and charity work with his acting. He is also busy working on his memoir. Born in Shreveport, LA, Martinez moved to Hope, AR, where he and his mother lived until he was 17. They moved to Dalton, GA, just prior to his senior year, the place he proudly calls his hometown. J.R. MARTINEZ, veteran and actor, teams with KARINA SMIRNOFF, who returns for her 10th season.

 

 

 

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