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Dancing With The Stars J.R. Martinez, A Winner In More Ways Than One

November 25, 2011 09:51 AM by Beth Stewart

Before winning Dancing with the Stars, way back in 2003, J.R. Martinez was serving his country in the Iraq War when his Humvee hit a landmine. 40% of his body was burned and he spent a grueling 32 months in the hospital enduring 32 different surgeries. He still has more to come. But he doesn’t want to be known for the scars on his face. He’s an inspiration to us as a national spokesman for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. This organization promotes and supports programs for wounded service members. When he received an award from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in 2009, he said “I’m able to do the things that I do today, all of us are, because of you guys out there. So this is to all of you that wear the uniform.” If J.R. isn’t a winner on many fronts, I don’t know who is.

After a nationwide casting search by ABC’s All My Children for a real-life soldier to play a new character, Brot Monroe, J.R. Martinez was hired and cast as Brot. Brot’s injuries on the show mirrored the ones that J.R. suffered in real life. J.R. had never acted before and went on to become one of AMC’s favorite soap stars.

And this week he and Karina Smirnoff were crowned the season 13 champions on ABC‘s Dancing With The Stars.

J.R. said it was an “amazing feeling” to be the winner. He continued with, “We just want to thank everyone at home who voted for us every single week, and believing in us when I had a bad week and whatever it may be. Thank you for pushing us through and giving us an opportunity to win this trophy.” Of his partner, Karina Smirnoff he said, “It’s amazing that I was able to be a part of that journey where she gets her first Mirror Ball trophy. She deserves it. Outside of a great dancer, she’s a great person. She’s beautiful on the outside of course, but she’s beautiful on the inside.”

Do you have feelings about J.R.’s courage? His courage to serve, survive and now dance? If so, please let us know what you’re thinking.

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Photo credit: ABC

Topics: ABC Reality TV Shows, Dancing With the Stars |

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