October 04, 2011 6:22am PT by THR Staff
'Dancing With the Stars'' J.R. Martinez: 5 Things to Know
On Monday's Dancing With the Stars, contestants were asked to choose dances that represent a memorable year of their lives.
J.R. Martinez chose 2003, when he sustained burns over 40 percent of his body while serving as a United States Army infantryman in Iraq. He dedicated his rumba (with professional partner Karina Smirnoff) to "the men and women who didn't make it home."
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After, Martinez was given a lengthy standing ovation by the audience, and a score of 26 by the judges -- landing him in second place, a tie with Chynna Phillips.
Here are a few things you may not know about him.
1. He's starred on All My Children as Brot Monroe beginning in 2008. His nick name is "Soap's Real-Life Hero." He's also penning memoir.
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2. Martinez was severely burned when the left-front tire of the Humvee he was driving in Iraq hit a landmine. He was evacuated to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, Tex. and spent 34 months in recovery.
3. While he was in the hospital, a nurse asked him to counsel other burn victims who were struggling with depression. When he discovered that he could help people, began to speak to veterans groups, schools and companies.
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4. He went on to appear on CNN, 60 Minutes and Oprah, and give speeches alongside Tony Robbins and Evangelist Dave Roever. In 2008 he was honored as a "Shining Star of Perseverance" by the Council of Assurant Employee Benefits -- the same year he was cast on the soap.
5. He is bilingual in English and Spanish. He was born in Shrevesport, La., but moved to Dalton, Ga. right before his senior year of high school.