J.R. Martinez Invited to Pentagon After 'Dancing With the Stars' Victory

J. R. Martinez DWTS Headshot - P 2011
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J. R. Martinez DWTS Headshot - P 2011

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta offered sincere congratulations to the 28-year-old war vet, inviting him to Washington, D.C. for an in-person meeting.

J.R. Martinez is headed to Washington.

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The war vet-turned-actor has been invited to the Pentagon by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, after taking home the coveted mirror ball trophy on season 13 of ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

Panetta previously penned a congratulatory note to Martinez, in which he praised the 28-year-old's determination. "Your strength and spirit captivated the nation, and your victory sends a strong message about the strength and resilience of our wounded warriors," Panetta wrote.

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The defense secretary followed up with a 10 minute phone call on Friday, Nov. 25, in which he invited Martinez to visit the pentagon for an in-person meeting. The AP reports that details are still being worked out regarding the trip.

Martinez was badly burned while deployed in Iraq after the Humvee he was driving hit a landmine. After 32 surgeries and three years of recovery, Martinez won the role of Brot Monroe on All My Children. He also serves as a motivational speaker. Martinez will next be seen co-hosting the pre-show of CNN's Heroes: An All-Star Tribute on Dec. 11. He appeared on the news network's CNN Heroes: Where Are They Now special, which aired on Thursday.