TV personality schedules SRU stop
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa - Slippery Rock Univerity's University Program Board will bring J.R. Martinez, winner of CBS' popular "Dancing with the Stars" reality show, and a regular character on ABC's long-running "All My Children," former daytime soap opera, to campus to discuss his life at 8 p.m., April 10.
The free presentation is in the University Union.
|MARTINEZ||Martinez, born in 1983, in Shreveport, La., moved to Hope, Ark., well-known home of former President Bill Clinton. He and his mother lived in Hope until he was 17 and they moved to Dalton, Ga., just prior to his high school senior year. |
In high school he played strong safety for the Catamounts, the Dalton High School football team, and went to the Georgia State Championships with his team. He initially dreamed of playing professional football, but a senior-year injury derailed those plans.
In 2003, Martinez was deployed to Iraq and less than a month into his deployment as a Humvee driver in Karbala the left front tire of his vehicle hit a landmine. Three soldiers with him were ejected from the burning vehicle, but he was trapped.
Martinez suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body. He has said that while fighting for his life and awaiting medical help, his sister Anabel, who passed away when he was a child, appeared to him, giving him the strength to stay alive. He was pulled from the wreckage and evacuated to a local medic station in Iraq, then on to Landstuhl, Germany, for follow-up care.
Martinez was eventually sent to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he spent 34 months in recovery. The process required 33 separate surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.
"I do believe everything happens for a reason, and I'm extremely grateful for that day because it lead me into this life," he said.
He is now a sought-after motivational speaker, traveling the country to spread his message of resilience and optimism.
Featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, PEOPLE magazine, The New York Times and New York Daily News, Martinez has appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "60 Minutes," "The View," CNN, "Inside Edition," FOX News, "Good Morning America," Univision and a number of other major national news outlets.
In 2008, he was cast as combat veteran Brot Monroe on ABC's Emmy Award-winning daytime drama "All My Children." The show aired on ABC from Jan. 5, 1970, until it was canceled Sept. 23, 2012.
He won the Season 13 Mirror Ball trophy on "Dancing with the Stars."