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JR Martinez JR Martinez

JR Martinez

Shreveport, Louisiana, United States

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• As a high-school football player, he hoped to one day play professionally, but he suffered a sports injury in his senior year.

• Enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2002; in January 2003, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.

• After being severely injured in Iraq and suffering burns over 40 percent of his body, claimed to see a vision of his sister Anabel, who had died when he was a child.

• Spent 34 months in the hospital and underwent 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.

• Discovered a talent for motivational speaking by talking with other burn victims during his recovery. 

• Joined the cast of the soap opera All My Children in 2008.

• Winner of season 13 of Dancing with the Stars with partner Karina Smirnoff.