CNNiReport ~ J.R. Martinez American Hero and a Reflection of Us

iReport —He was born in Shreveport, the heart of the Louisiana Purchase.  He’s claimed Dalton, GA as his native home.  In his short life he has served his country; sustained injuries defending it; and has become the face of the new generation of Americans coming into their own.  Jose Rene Martinez is the

quintessential American story.  At 19 he went from high school to the army.  Within a month of his deployment to Iraq, J.R. Martinez faced the ultimate challenge of his life.  The Humvee he was driving struck a land mine.  Trapped inside the flaming vehicle, he sustained burns to over 40% of his body.  J.R. was 6 weeks short of his 20th birthday.  He spent 34 months in hospital healing.  During that time he endured 33 surgeries and became a beacon of light for many of his fellow soldiers who were also recovering from injuries.  That’s J.R. Martinez.  His faith, optimism and shear will drove him to withdraw from withdrawal.  Though bearing scars, J.R. would not be delegated into the shadows.  That would be contrary to his upbringing, his patriotism and ultimately his soul.

A few months ago ABC Daytime canceled All My Children, a show which has served to make a major impact on the American conversation.  And as AMC slipped into the network sunset, J.R. Martinez stood out.  ABC saw the potential.  They decided to cast him on the latest season of Dancing With The Stars.  While the show touts him as “actor and veteran”; soap fans recognize his ascent has been accomplished by the three years he spent on a “silly little soap opera”.  He embraced his role on DWTS with the same vigor and passion as he did with Brot Monroe.  And in a few short weeks, J.R. Martinez captured the hearts of the American public.  For a culture so immersed in the superficial, J.R. has shown us beauty isn’t skin deep.  It resides within the shell and the light which emanates from within is the ultimate in real beauty.  The ultimate truth is that without that silly little soap opera known as All My Children we may never had the great gift of experiencing him.

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