‘DWTS’ Winner J.R. Martinez: Rose Parade Grand Marshal

by | November 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM | Dancing With The Stars, TV News

By Kimberly Potts at TheWrap

Sure, he’s got that mirror ball trophy, but J.R. Martinez is continuing to reap even bigger rewards from winning the 13th season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

The Iraq war veteran-turned-”All My Children” star has been named the Grand Marshal of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade on Jan. 1, and has been personally invited to visit the Pentagon for a meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

“His outlook on life is admirable, and we couldn’t be happier to have the chance to celebrate the New Year with him as we entertain the millions of fans around the world during the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game,” president of the Tournament of Roses Rick Jackson said of the “DWTS” champ.

And while Panetta invited Martinez to the Pentagon in a congratulatory phone call after his reality show victory last week, he also wrote the vet a letter, telling him, “Over the course of this competition, your spirit captivated the nation and your victory sends a powerful message about the strength and resilience of our wounded warriors.”

Martinez has also started writing a book, which he’s currently shopping to publishers.

Cynthia Snyder, Martinez’ representative, tells the New York Post his memoir will be “full of things people don’t know,” including, presumably, further details on his incredible recovery from the 2003 land mine explosion which burned him so badly he required nearly three dozen surgeries to recover.

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