Wounded U.S. Army Veteran, Actor and Champion, Dancing with the Stars
J.R. Martinez Bio
.R. Martinez is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, advocate, wounded U.S. Army veteran, and actor who has been featured on All My Children, Dancing with the Stars, SAF3 and more.
While deployed to Iraq, J.R. hit a roadside bomb while driving and became trapped in his burning vehicle. He suffered smoke inhalation, severe burns, and had to undergo 34 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery, in the years following his injury. During his recovery, after a brief visit with another burn patient, J.R. realized that he'd made a positive impact on this individual and decided to use his own experiences to help others. He continued to visit patients every day, sharing his story and listening to theirs. He learned that inspiration is often a two-way street.
A highly sought-after motivational speaker, Martinez travels the world spreading his message of resilience and optimism. He has spoken to troops at various bases around the world, as well as to groups such as the Clinton Global Initiative, the Red Cross, and dozens of universities, non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies. His New York Times bestselling memoir, Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength and Spirit, details how he was able to take his personal tragedy and turn it into an inspiration for others, a message he also brings to worldwide organizations. His story is unique, but his message is universal: your path in life is decided by your own ability to adapt and overcome.