J.R. Martinez

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/15/knowjr.art.jpg

caption=”J.R. Martinez, 25, is a national spokesperson for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes.”]
J.R. Martinez wanted to give back to the country that gave him and his family so much. The 25-year-old enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2002, much to the hesitation of his El Salvadorian mom. In February of 2003, he deployed to Iraq, promising his mom he’d return in one piece. That April, he did.

His body was in one piece, but badly burned and scarred. “I knew it was going to be a bad day,” J.R. remembers of the day he was serving as the driver of his unit’s Humvee when the left front tire hit a land mine. J.R. suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40% of his body. His mother met him at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, to help him recover from the 32 different surgeries he’d undergo over the next 34 months.

During that time, he realized that the injury might have been a blessing in disguise. He became a national spokesperson for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes. He also became a lead actor on the daytime Soap Opera “All My Children,” not needing much preparation to play a veteran wounded overseas. Reacting to all his recent success and confidence, J.R. simply says, “Dream and dream big, because it’s free and it’s something no one can take away from you.”

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview

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108 Responses to J.R. Martinez

  1. S Callahan says:

    JR…you are blessed, you have discovered what’s most important in life and living…and that is ‘what is in your heart’.
    As much as you deserve this award I have to say your Mother also deserves to share in any award…she is your rock and has grounded you for a lifetime. Blessings to you.

  2. Michelle says:

    Very good report Nicole!

  3. Michael Evans says:

    J.R. – thank you for your service to our country and for defending our freedom. Everyone in this country is indebted to you. Clearly, you’re an incredibly brave person who strives to achieve more and more everyday, despite having achieved so much already. Good luck and thank you, again.

  4. Russ Southerland says:

    J.R.,

    Every new door that opens is a new opportunity to proclaim God’s grace and glory. You inspire so many people and give hope to those who have given up. Your spirit is strong, humble, and thankful. I hope the CNN interview introduces you to an even wider audience. I’ll be watching and praying for you.

    Russ

  5. laralara says:

    J.R, u hav just taught me that my dreams cannot get burnt by fire, when i get there, i will remember u taught me to dream big and no one, no fire, no setbacks can take it away form me.
    u are an Inspiration!

  6. Ayandria Barry says:

    JR.. you have always been an inspiration to me from the first time I met you in 2004 with the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program… It was a great pleasure seeing you after all these years in NY in Nov. 2008 after all thses years you still cease to amaze me with your strength and determination… You will most definately continue to go high and accomplish all your dreams in this world.. God bless…

  7. Sunshine from CT says:

    Hi J.R.:
    You are the epitome of grace! Even though we have never met, you have helped me through some very dark times during the last 12 months. My question for you is, how do you manage to stay so positive after an injury that would have defeated most men/women? You are such an inspiration! Thanks for all that you have done and all that you have yet to do!! God bless!!

  8. Trevor says:

    JR –

    Your story is amazing. I wanted to ask you if it has been tough to re-live the terrible pain of your real life during your filming of All My Children. It takes a strong individual to do what you are doing and I wish you the best in the future.

  9. Tamara Uhrich says:

    JR,

    You never cease to amaze me! Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. If you need anything, please let your AW2 advocate(s) know. We are here for you! Take care and good luck.

  10. doug auld says:

    Hi J R

    YOU DO ROCK! But you know thats what I think of you already.

    when your ready, let me know

    doug

  11. sarah colton says:

    J.R. you are such a bright and beautiful person.
    i am so glad that i have met you.
    you are just so full of laughter and positive energy.
    i know you’re in the big times now!
    but my dad and i would like to see you again real soon.
    take care
    wish you all the best

  12. Jill says:

    For one soldier to another, WooRah!!
    God has blessed you with Angels to continue on with your head held high!
    You ROCK!!

  13. Karen Calloway says:

    J.R., I’m so proud of you! Not only did you do your part to “repay” our country by your service in Iraq, you continue your part by being a role model for many others. I’ve watched you on OLTL and you’ve been great! To simply say Thanks is not enough for you and others like you who have given so much, but perhaps saying you are an inspiration and a blessing, may, in some small way might convey our gratitude.

  14. Terry Steer says:

    Human beings have an inate fear of the unknown and the fear of making mistakes and seeming insensitive. It’s hard for the disabled and disfigured and it’s hard for the rest of us. I have been watching JR on AMC since he started. In the beginning it was unnerving to see him, simply because it was so astonishing to see his face burned away like that. But you know? I don’t really notice it that much anymore because he’s a fine actor among award winning actors. His personality is so strong and his strength is so evident, that who cares. And this is my point. We need to spend more time with the disabled and disfigured to get over the fears and trepidations that come with the unknown. We need to understand each other’s reservations and fears and see each other just as the humans that we are. JR is doing an unbelievable service to all of us by being outspoken and “in our faces” with his injuries. We all owe him a great deal of gratitude for serving our country and helping us to not forget the price that many are paying for that service and that although they may be without limbs, be without their old faces, be without much sanity left, they are still just like us and we like them.

  15. Vickie inPhoenix says:

    This man is truly an American hero three times over. He went into service for our country, he was wounded and then fought a horrific battle to recover from injuries suffered in the line of duty, and then he not only recovered from those injuries but he excelled in making a truly meaningful life against incredible odds. He is truly admirable, a role model and we all should thank him for his bravery.

  16. Cindy says:

    JR, if everyone were like you, this world would be a much better place. Thank you for your service and example. You shine like precious gold which has been refined by fire. God bless you, my hero.

  17. Heather says:

    J.R.

    Thank you for all you have given to this country. It is because of men and women like you that we have the freedoms we enjoy every day. Please know that you and all of the other soldiers have my utmost respect and are in my heart and prayers.
    Thank you again for everything you have given!

  18. elias jurado says:

    soy salvadoreno y estoy orguyosamente orgulloso de J R .
    le quisiera preguntar que lo motiva a seguir soÑando.

    gracias

  19. sylvia says:

    Thanks so much for your very positive image! You’re a jewel!
    And I love your acting ability! Wouldn’t miss an episode!!!

  20. Emily LeBlanc says:

    I just won’t to thank you for service our county to keep us safe.
    And I do watch you on All my Children I am glad they gave you a part you are very good on the show. My son is in the service too.

    Em

  21. annnie says:

    J.R.

    I watch you on AMC and admired your role. After reading your story I admire your courage much more. When I watch you on AMC, the camera go to your face I don’t see a disfigured face I see the most beautiful eyes anyone could ever look into

  22. Naomi Kraima says:

    Hey hon,

    You know we love you over here already. I’ll hook you up with a question though:

    How has what has happened to you affected your relationship with God?

    We’re so proud of you…

  23. Lori says:

    As a military member, you were trained to maintain high levels of fitness, continuous training and excellent moral standards. Leaving active duty, how do you personally maintain those standards in regular civilian life? How would you recommend to others, military or civilian, how to live life with accountability standards higher than one’s self?

  24. DAVID says:

    You would think J.R. would get free gasoline for life from “THE HOLY CHRISTIAN BUSH” for fighting in his oil war.

  25. taxpayer says:

    Thank you for your service and three cheers for you and your success!

  26. dorothy says:

    I wish I could find the words to thank you for your bravery. Your strength is amazing and you are an inspiration to so many. I know I sleep well at night because of heros like you that make my life free. I adore watching you on All My Children. May God bless you and the many others like you who have served in our nations finest forces.

  27. Kay says:

    JR, you really DO ROCK! I’m a longtime AMC viewer who first became acquainted with you there. Alicia Minshew said of your acting, “he’s a natural”, and she’s totally right. You hold your own with the best of them, and are better than some who’ve been at it a lot longer. Your honest portrayal of Brot Monroe has touched my heart and brought me so much enjoyment, and gratitude to you and all our servicepeople. I’m sure you are as beloved by the cast as you are by the viewers, and believe me, we do love you very much. There are males much older than you that could not be considered men, but as young as you are, you are a real man. We love you.🙂

  28. SFC Buswell (retired) says:

    Hey JR, I was a platoon Sergeant for the Med Hold company there at BAMC for a year — my final year in the Army. I loved you guys, still do, and wish I could get back there providing service to you and the other wounded warriors! Glad to see you’re getting places and making an impact! Now, drop! (J/K).

  29. scott oneill says:

    god bless this man, there are not many like him.

  30. Daniel Hash says:

    JR,

    YOU ROCK!! Keep doing what you are doing, it makes the world a better place for everyone. I look up to you, and your strong character that keeps you going and inspiring others. May God continue to bless you and use you as an instrument to touch the lives of all those you come in contact with.

    Dan Hash
    http://www.uniteddoves.com

  31. D'Maria Scaglione says:

    Dear JR,

    I hope that you will stay on AMC–I miss seeing you lately and you have been such an incredible hope for so many (including myself). God bless you and thank you for protecting our country. You will always be in my prayers.
    Author,
    D’Maria Scaglione
    http://enlightenedangel.bravehost.com

  32. Karen Travenia says:

    I love you J.R.! You rock! Thank you for your service to our country!

    I’m in the Navy and most proud to serve because of people like you!

  33. Cathy Reamey says:

    JR,
    To see your story brings happy tears to my eyes. My 12 yr. old was recently burned in a fire and I have been looking for inspiration for him to keep trecking in a positive direction. I would love for he and I to get the chance some day to meet you. If you ever make it to Alaska, look us up.

    Cathy and Dylan

  34. Amy E. Snyder says:

    First of all, I want to sincerely say “Thank you” for defending our freedom. My question is during the time of the explosion, how did you keep yourself going? I am sure that you knew you were critically injured, but what motivated you to keep going?

  35. Elsa Mullins says:

    What a wonderful hero you are to our nation. May you continue to heal and may you be blessed. Thank you for putting your life for our country and then having to suffering severly. God bless you always and you will be in my prayers, heal well, regards, Elsa

  36. lori kemp says:

    I’ve been watching all my children for some 25 years now. when you first came on the show I thought the make up department should definitely be getting some awards. It is refreshing to know it’s really you, You are an awesome actor and it’s refreshing to put a face to whats going on over there in the war. Hope u and Taylor work it out thats a good storyline. forever a fan
    Lori

  37. deanna says:

    i think jr is a terrfic actor, i have watched him,he is really talented and i hope he goes far in his acting career,also want to thank him for protecting our freedom. you go boy

  38. JAS says:

    JR ~
    I am a fan of AMC watching the show for over 35 years. AMC has been known to touch on some sensitive storylines and pleased to see them touch on the subject of Wounded Warriors. I enjoy watching your role on AMC; your acting abilities are fabulous and hope to continue seeing you on the show. On one of the episodes you were helping Emma receive treatment on her burnt hands. After your injury did you and do you continue to help others get through their injuries? When you were first injured, I can only imagine what turmoil you and your mother went through and the excruciating pain just to get to where you are at today, you both must feel so blessed to have each other. Do you feel the more you share your experience of what you endured with others that it eases your pain and in turn helps others get through theirs? Do you feel you remind them that they are not alone? I am proud of you and of those many others who continue to defend our country. You are an inspiration to all of us! Godspeed and continued success!

  39. Standing Tall says:

    JR in your own motivational speaking tours what has been the most memorable motivational speech you have giving and why. I have heard your story and probably know the answer but who inspires you most to do what you do. And congrads on your part with AMC you are doing all of the Vets proud who now what day time soaps to see one of there own going on to live out his dream.

  40. brandy says:

    When J.R. was first cast as “Brot” on All My Children, we all thought that it was stunt-casting and a promotion. Turns out that he’s now one of the favorite characters (according to my messageboard members) and a very natural actor to boot. Please ask him if he had any idea that this gig would turn out so well, and if he has plans to continue acting in the future.

  41. Vanessa Fleming says:

    As a mother of two Illinois National Guard soldiers and wife of a former U.S. Army soldier I have to say Thank-you for your service.
    I want to say also that you are a tremendous person to go forward in life and over come what many would see as a disability.
    You keep that frame of mind and you can go anywhere you want in life.
    Welcome Home Soldier, may God bless you and your family.

  42. Amaby says:

    Thank you very much indeed I’m very happy and proud for what you’ve done !

  43. angie says:

    whats up buddy!!
    show biz is the place for you! Everytime we hang out it is VERY entertaining! keep making me laugh—and keep the rest of the world wanting some more!

    see you next week!

    ang~

  44. Georgann Jantzen says:

    J.R.,
    You are SUCH an inspiration, thank you, thank you!
    My son joined the Army in 2003, much to my dismay, and was passionate about doing his part to fight terrorism. On his 2nd deployment in 2005, his Humvee hit an IED in Ramadi and has spent 3 years at Walter Reed undergoing surguries and therapy to save his legs. He lost his battle last May when they amputated his right leg. However, his life has been changed in a good way and would gladly do it all again in a heartbeat! Serving his country is so important to him and I am so very proud of my brave son! He is involved in the Wounded Warrior Project…thank you for your help and work with wounded heroes. Beauty comes from within and you are gorgeous!

  45. Elaine Dispo says:

    You’re such an inspiration as a soul survivor! Please continue to share your story and spread the word of hope. Since I teach during the day, I miss seeing your storyline unfold on “AMC” yet look forward to catching your CNN interview today!

  46. mindy abraham says:

    I wish him well, and I hope he continues with either acting or going to school. Thank you for serving

  47. Rachel D says:

    J.R. – I enjoyed the scene from All My Children in the hospital where you helped the young character, Emma, get treated for burns on her hands. Did you meet Lucy Merriam, who portrays Emma, before the scene? I know children are more accepting of burns and disabilities than older people, but sometimes meeting beforehand helps.

  48. EMILE DUVIVIER says:

    May God be with you J.R. America is with you. Thank you for the sacrifice you made for our country.

    Emile

  49. Theresa says:

    JR,

    I think your role on All my children will inspire a lot of veterens coming back from the wars. Thanks alot for everything.

    Theresa

  50. Felicia says:

    I am so impressed with you. You are absolutely amazing. I think that you are a good looking guy. Really even with the the scarring you are beautiful. What can I say JR? When You Got It – You Just Got It!

    Congratulations and I wish you the best the life has to offer!

  51. S. Hendricks says:

    JR, Thanks for your service and your honest talk on how you deal with things now you are back home. I have a friend that also go hurt badly in Iraq and my son was also hurt at the same time. They felt (like most do) that life was not worth it…(you know the feeling). I tried to explain to them the they do have a life…but it fell on deaf ears….
    When I saw you on All My Children I thought at first you were an actor with REAL good makeup!!! When I saw you were a real life Army Vetran who served in Iraq I was so moved and touched I called my son and told him to watch!! He like most guys don’t watch soaps, but did when I told him about you! JR you have touched many people and have helped allot through their pain…I was at Walter Reed and watched soldiers watching YOU and using YOU to get through their pain, day, and PT, etc. I personally wanted to thank you for your help.

  52. Claudia says:

    Mr. Martinez,

    You are a beautiful man, in and out. Your loved ones are so very blessed to have you in their lives, as are all the people who come into your life.

    Thank you for all the sacrifices that you have made for all Americans.

    May God bless you always.

    Keep on smiling that magnificent smile of yours.

    Thank you,
    Claudia

  53. Lori Jackson says:

    I really admire JR Martinez and a fan of All My Children and he does a really good job with his role. I am really empathizing with his charachter and his presence on the show reminds people that there are veterans of this war coming home looking like this . At first I thought that he was just wearing makeup and prosetics from the special effects department of AMC but I was touched when I learned that he is an actual veteran . I applaud AMC for taking a chance on JR Martinez because he is educating the public about actual veterans.

  54. Darlene Fields says:

    Yes! you are a real hero, and love watching you on All My Children. I told my husband you were a real person, not made up. He was surprised. he does not watch soaps. but he hads to watch because I do and I pointed you out to him. Bless of luck in the future and realize you are a real person. I am happy to see a real combat person is playing this roll and you do a great job. like I said good luck always.

  55. Linda Gordon says:

    JR has become one of my favorite characters on AMC. He is a wonderful role model for everyone who comes in contact with him. Please ask him what he hopes the future will hold for him personnally and professionally.
    Thanks,
    Linda Gordon

  56. sheila m. says:

    Thank you for being you!! I am a lifelong fan of AMC and never has the show ever had such a strong impact. You are an inspiration to those who have been through physical and mental setbacks in their lives. My late father went through many, many surgeries also since he was a young child. He was born with physical facial abnormalities and was severely burned as a result of radiation used in the hospital. Radiation was not as well established as it is now, and resulted in further malformations to my father’s face. He struggled most of his life with correcting many errors in his surgeries, but was accepted in the real world as a human being, not as someone to stare at. My late Mom saw my father as a strong and warm caring person. The fight for life and recognition, is in a way so similar to what you went through that I can say that you have certainly won the hearts and soul of very many people, just as my Dad did. Thank you for giving your heart and soul to those who needed it and especially to me. God love you J.R.Martinez!

  57. Anna Clark says:

    Hi JR

    Thank you so very much. You are a hero and I really enjoy your part in All My Children. God Bless you always. Keep up the good work. You are a very handsome man. I love All my Children, I admire you.

  58. Kelly says:

    JR is an amazing inspiration to anyone who is going through adversity in their lives, as SO many people are experiencing right now in these trying times. This is the face of a true hero. In the moment of all that he is going through, he finds the strength to speak to the adversity we’re all going through, in a very eloquent way, and to share his strength with all of us. A true hero, in my book, and if God spared him to set him on this journey, he’s doing a heck of a job with it. He deserves everything good that may come his way. I wish him all the best and thank him for who he is.

  59. Sajitha says:

    JR,

    You are really amazing. An inspiration for all. Every word you told touched my soul. You motivated me tremendously…
    May god keep you happy always!!!!

  60. Mary Kay says:

    Thank you for your courage! You rock!!!!! I hope to instill your courage in my children.

  61. DEBI FELTNER says:

    DEAR JR,YOU HAVE A GREAT ASSET TO ALL MY CHILDREN,I ADMIRE YOUR COURAGE.
    YOU HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB ON ALL MY CHILDREN.
    I HOPE TO SEE MORE OF YOU IN UP COMING SHOWS.
    YOU WORK WITH SOME GREAT ACTORS&ACTRESSES.
    I HAVE BEEN A LOYAL FAN OF AMC FOR 31 YRS.
    KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK
    THANK YOU SERVING OUR COUNTRY.
    I AM GLAD YOU CAME ALIVE,CAUSE SO MANY HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES.
    THANK YOU
    DEBI FELTNER OF OREGON

  62. Wendy says:

    From the first time I saw you on AMC I thought Wow! This guy is cute and he can act. You are showing us what war has done to some of our finest Men & Women and Know he is fighting the battle of exceptance for all of the of the Brave Men and Woman that have returned home looking a little different on the outside than we remembered them. But they are the same person we know and love Thank You!!!! For allowing us, me, your family, your public to know you and love YOU for being YOU. Your beauty shines from the inside out and you are one fine looking HUNK to watch on AMC
    Wendy

  63. doulou says:

    Brot Monroe you are star and a real life miracle, may God continue to bless you and your family. I’ll be tuned to AMC waiting for you to propose to Taylor, you are truly an inspiration both on and off screen!

  64. Denise says:

    YOU ARE A GOOD LOOKIN’ MAN!!! I’d go for ya if ya lived in Oklahoma!! You’re a great actor, too!

  65. Diane says:

    Hi J.R.!!

    I want to thank you for serving in the Armed Forces. Your courage and committment reminds me how grateful we are that you fought for our freedom! Everytime I see you it reminds me that men (and women) like you should be praised for all you have done for our country. I think you are the best! Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!

  66. Barbara Sykes says:

    JR,
    You still have a handsome face. I hope you will stay on AMC. I think they should put your picture up with all of the others at the beginning of the show.
    I’m sorry that you were hurt so badly in the war. It was a hard price for you to pay for our freedom. I want to thank you for ALL that you did for our wonderful America. Enjoy the rest of your life; get all that you can out of it. Find all of the happiness that you can. Your face lights up when you smile.
    May God Bless you real good.

  67. Jennifer says:

    JR —

    You are a wonderful young man. I admire your ability to share with the world the real you. As a fellow burn survivor all I can say is keep up the wonderful work you are doing. For many of us who have lived with the constant reminder of what we have lived through it is a struggle to keep up the smiles and deal with the questions and looks of horror/disgust/pity we are subjected to. It is a testament to your strength of spirit and soul that you are able to do so on national television and to give voice to those of us who live with the scars everyday.

    God bless you!

  68. Mona says:

    God bless you and all our troops. You were beautiful before, but you are much more beautiful now. You are doing a great job on AMC.

  69. Will says:

    J.R.,
    You’re what the human spirit is all about! Thank you for serving our country and good luck with all of your future endeavors. Keep up the good work!

  70. trixie says:

    i just want to say thank u for everything that u have done for me and for this country u r a inspriation to so many people and no matter what goes on and how people look at u, u r still beautiful and sexy and strong and determined and u have a purpose here that noone can take away from you so u keep doing what it is that u do and stay blessed. Tell ur mom good job she has a lovely son

  71. MSG Roddy says:

    JR
    You are an amazing soldier to see you just pick yourself up and go on. God has a plan and a design for you. I am here on Ft. Lewis and read your story. I hope you will t do more lectures to the soldiers coming back. God bless to you, your new career. Never forget you was once a soldier.

  72. Pat says:

    I’ve been watching All My Children since 1976, and I’ve scarcely encountered an actor like JR. He is really one of the most sexy men on TV today… I can certainly see he must have been a remarkable looker before Iraq, but I think he looks great! His personality exudes from every pore… If that’s not sexy… I don’t know what is!! I imagine he has grown in wisdom and appreciation for the things that really matter in life. Congratulations, and keep it coming man… You are a REAL MAN!

  73. Alex S. says:

    JR is my hero! I get depressed about my current life situation – recent job loss, can’t focus on school… but it is nothing compared to what JR went through and is still going through. God bless him.

  74. Jan says:

    JR

    To quote Jennifer up above:

    “You are a wonderful young man. I admire your ability to share with the world the real you. As a fellow burn survivor all I can say is keep up the wonderful work you are doing. For many of us who have lived with the constant reminder of what we have lived through it is a struggle to keep up the smiles and deal with the questions and looks of horror/disgust/pity we are subjected to. It is a testament to your strength of spirit and soul that you are able to do so on national television and to give voice to those of us who live with the scars everyday.

    God bless you!”

    I really cannot add much more to that, for her story and your story is mine also. One of the few people that “gets” it is my sister, and understands me completely when I say, “finally, I see someone on screen that represents ME.”

    I hope you stay on the show for awhile–you are a blessing!

    Jan

  75. pam says:

    JR…
    Thank you for what you’ve done for us in so many meaningful ways! I watched you and your AMC acting partner when you were on The View together–You brought such energy and a beautiful sense of humor to that segment. I really enjoyed watching you interviewed there because we saw a bit more of the person you are in real life outside of the AMC script…..I have only been watching AMC since you joined the cast. Otherwise I find soap operas to be a bit superficial (sorry), but I was so drawn into the storyline with you as Brot . Now there must be a larger role for you coming up. I heard you’re also a motivational speaker. I’m not even a big soap opera fan at all, but YOU MADE AMC SO REAL AND IMPORTANT. You brought integrity to the show with the role of Brot. Thank you for that and for visiting The View so we could see you in a different, more relaxed atmosphere and gain a better appreciation of your strength of character and beautiful eyes that light up the world when you smile!

  76. Ms.G says:

    Mr.JR.Martinez,

    You are a blessed young man , and a inspiration to all of your fellow brothers and sisters that are fighting in this war. Never give up, and to go for what you believe in to help others. You have such a sweet spirit JR, with that you will go along way in life. God bless you,and Thank you.

    With much LOVE

  77. Junanne Brown says:

    Jose–You have REALLY grown up since Hope High School!! I am so proud of you and all you have become. I hate that you had to go through all that you did, but you have made a wonderful recovery. I don’t know if you even remember Reyn and Darrin Henley coming to see you in San Antonio. Reyn had to go immediately. Take care of yourself. Wish you could come back here and speak sometime.

  78. bobby says:

    its good to see ya bud you been doing grate things sence school

  79. Ann Hundertmark says:

    God love you son……………

    I had the humbling honor of visiting the Center for the Intrepid at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonia a little over a year ago. It was a life changing event for me. A young Marine Cpl. from Lima, Ohio gave us a tour of the facility. He was missing a leg and the remaining one was not in great shape, but he was so upbeat and the camraderie that I witnessed amongst all the young fellows was inspiring.

    God bless and keep you and all the wonderful veterans who have given us the amazing opportunities we have in this great country of ours. Only through your sacrifices would be have what we have.

    Thank you a million times over.

    Ann Hundertmark
    Denton, Maryland

  80. Dana B says:

    JR –

    I had the honor of sharing cheesecake with you when my company honored you with our Shining Star award for Preserverance last year. Hearing you talk that day inspired so very many people. I think daily about some of the things you said. Everytime I see my brothers, or anyone that has served this country for that matter, I make sure to thank them from the bottom of my heart for protecting our freedom. You are such a beautiful person. God Bless you JR. Keep smiling.

    DB

  81. Young Kim says:

    I am stunned and speechless. There is an angel in our midst…

  82. Donna Hayes says:

    J R I just want to thank you, for your service to our country for protecting our freedom. You have such a great message to tell the world . I have watched you on AMC ever since you began. I think you are great.At the beginning I noticed your scars and I felt so sorry that you have had to go thur this. Now I don’t even notice the scars and I am thinking this guy can act. I am from Dalton Ga. I feel such a sence of pride every time I see you. Reach for the stars,because you are one . You have a wonderful gift and I am so glad you have use it to help others I am very proud of you I know your mom is too.

  83. Marilyn says:

    You are truly an inspiration to a lot of people. But I would like to talk to you about something that I am working on with some of the other mothers were I work and am in need of some direction…Have you ever heard of Wicker’s Ware? They have a product that is flame retardant and other products that would truly help our military. The product was shown on the History channel early in 2/09 and it inspired us to try to get some to our military via giving each one a set when they came through the USO stations. I know I am rambling but I am on lunch and am running out of time. So can you please contact me at the e-mail address above as soon as possible. Could really use your help. Either way keep up the good work and Bless you and Thank you so much for everything you continue to do.

  84. Yvette Shep says:

    I watch All My Children. and it was through your roll on the show that I was introduced to youl. I haven now seen several interviews and am quite impressed. J.R., you are truly a beautiful person. You went into the military as such a young man and you have grown into a wonderful person. It is clear that your parents did a good job with you and should be extremely proud of you. This country should also be proud of you. Hurrah to AMC for having you join their cast.

  85. Stacy says:

    J.R.Martinez…….as I posted on your website you are “Absolute Inspiration”. Keep doing what your doing. Your smile is contagious.

  86. Fernando Hernandez says:

    Mr. Martinez
    As Father of a US Army soldier, I’m honored to express my appreciation for your service. My son has been deployed to his second 12 month tour to Iraq so I know what your mom felt when you were deployed to a war zone. No one really understands the scarifice unless their family experiences direct involvement ,so I try no to speak to individuals who have no direct scarifice because they just don’t understand. So it is with great honor that I say thank you and thank you to your mom for her numerous prayers. When you have a moment please pray for our son’s safe return.
    Thank You
    Mr. Fernando Hernandez
    Son (Spc Michael A Hernandez) 1st Cal 2 Signal Batt Fort Hood Texas

  87. audasu says:

    J R is considered a hero in my book, his will and strength to continue to fight through life adversities shows his strength. Anyone who can take a negative experience and turn it into a positive one has a strong faith in GOD. I thank J R for his strength, his wisdom, and his courage, it takes a lot to do what he does on a daily basis.

  88. Wesley says:

    Thank you…

  89. Antonia, Astoria Queens, NY says:

    Dear JR-what an inspiring story. You are so right when you say you don’t know what you’re capable of until you go through something. I just lost my twin sister @ 46 years old, she lost her voice box, from cancer, was at one point 85 pounds, & ate primarily from a feeding tube in her stomach from May until her death on Jan 30th of this year. Through it all she never lost her mind, and gave the biggest smile when I’d walk into the room. she had no teeth at this point. It was humbling to see such strength under such adversity, especially since she was born with sickle cell anemia. The amazing grace of God has helped me accept her passing, and I am sure the things that you have overcome have made you stronger. Give credit to God, for without him you’d be undone. God Bless

  90. Ken Webb says:

    After seeing you on All My Children, my wife and I had a discussion above your scars on the show. She thought is was make-up & I said it looks to real to do it for every show. After doing some research on you, I read your story about what happened to you. All I want to say is “YOU ROCK”. You are an inspiration to all. Keep you the great work.

  91. betty fields says:

    HI JR JUST FOUND THIS SITE I MISSED CNN BUT JUST READ THE STORY.YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING PERSON WOULD LOVE TO MEET YA AND GIVE YA A GREAT BIG HUG.THANKS FOR BEING SUCH AN INSPIRATION TO EVERYONE WHO MEETS YOU.YOU HAVE A BLESSED WEEK AND MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU.BETTY FIELDS

  92. jwhite says:

    In reading this passage ive seen that it is very inspiring to me as a high schooler. I appreciate the vetreans duty for our country. god bless you.

  93. Yecenia says:

    – Wow J.R what an amazing story and I really admire you because it takes alot of courage to stand for what you believe and you are a heroe. Diosito brought you home. God Bless You

  94. Aurora says:

    I think that you are an amazing person and an inspiration to all the young people who want to change the world.
    keep doing what you doing !
    thank you for everything J.R Martinez !

  95. Pam Perry says:

    JR you are one wonderful person, and an inspiration to everyone that comes in contact with you. You used your injuries in a positive way and that says alot of your character. Good luck in all you do.

  96. Jeff says:

    JR u r my hero! May God Bless You!

  97. Hadassah says:

    Mr.Martinez,
    I cannot stop expressing my gratitude for your sacrifice to our Nation! You are simply amazing! GOD bless you!

  98. gwen johnson says:

    Your life is a testimony of a test the LORD brought you through, and is an
    example of unselfishness. You are blessing to others and GOD
    is saying “I am proud of you my good and faithful servant , and your crown awaits you in HEAVEN “.I will continue to petition for you in prayer.
    i Que Dios te Bendiga !

  99. james cummins says:

    You live the Army Values. You are a hero to us all. From one Soldier to another, I salute you.
    SGT Cummins

  100. Beverly Leavell says:

    JR –
    I was so surprised to see you on “All My Children”. The Lord is able to do extraordinary things with ordinary people. I had the opportunity to meet you at CRC as a spokesman for the “Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes” when it first began. At that time, your wishes were to make it from day to day through the numerous surgeries you were facing and look at what the Lord has done. The Lord proved that he has no respect of persons and that whomsoever will, let him come. JR you had a desire for success and the Lord heard your plea. You have a great opportunity now to reach many. Continue to keep the faith. God bless you!

  101. Houppydop says:

    Another lead, another Genious of our days! Definatley on of the HISTROICAL figuers! Such a pitty!

  102. IRIS says:

    JR, Thank you for your sacrifice so I and many others, as americans, can enjoy the freedoms that only Americans can enjoy. I love your eyes. Thanks for being such an inspiration.
    God bless
    IA

  103. Lorraine Williams says:

    JR I am sending you a HUGE HUG & A HUGE THANK YOU. you are
    an inspiration to everyone. thank you for the help in fighting for our freedom. I watch and injoy you everyday on all my children. I can see your strangth eveyday. Im so glad you never gave up. you were meant for this mission in life to help other people & inspire other people. you have inspired me. I wish you well in all that you do. Keep acting on all my children or any show for that matter, I would for sure watch it.
    so again thank you.
    Lorraine

  104. Renee says:

    As the wife of a former Navy man who served in the first Iraq conflict, and also as a burn survivor myself, I want to say “thank you” J.R. and God Bless You for the wonderful work you are doing in helping others with learning how to thrive in life despite their own difficult circumstances. You took the high road of giving of yourself to others when it would have been so much easier to wallow in self-pity over the things in life that you lost. You are an inspiration and I thank God for you. ~Renee

  105. Deborah says:

    JR, you are much loved, much thanked and much respected for dealing with what you’ve been through and what you continue to do. I’m sure that being a motivational speaker to others who have gone through similar injuries isn’t always easy, but you have the spirit to reach back and help.
    I thank God for you and I pray that you’ll continue doing what you’re doing.
    You’re great on All My Children, too.
    God bless you, Mr. Martinez.
    Deborah

  106. Rebecca LaTurneau says:

    J.R. You are a blessing ! Yes A blessing to me and my family, because I had enlisted in the ARMY in /Around 1989-1990. I was , as Real The ARMY PHYSICAL, Down town in Detroit. My Recutiter, would come and pick me up around 4:30 A.M. to get down to the physical ARMY . As a sense of humor you & me know, that my recutiter, LET ME IN ON THE FACT THAT : The ARMY Physical, the personel will lie, and challenge a new recruit – Me! Just to see how much I (Rebecca LaTurneau) can tollerate/or to break me. Well the details on my Army physical were Trying, and a lesson to be learned. For an Example The Military /Physical Exam told me that I was Pregnant. I absoultly . Not at all , so I was crying my eyes out when my recutier (Who I fullly trusted) 100 %. So my recutier let me in on a secret abot fail/pass on My(in general) but me, that the people who were preforming the army physicall will fudge the real answer / just to see jut how much can be tollerated !

    I actually did pass my Physical not on my 1st time ,not even my 2nd,3rd, time ! But it was O.K. for me ! , and written Exam-PASSED , and I was PROUDLY a swarn it ARMY MilitARY! i HAD WANTED so Badly to Be enlisted as a Military P.O. But as certain regulation, a female has to be 5′ 4″ to be enlisted as a Military P.O. Unfornanatly, I’am only 5′ 3″ so I was offered A four year tour of duty as : (like Radar-M.A.S.H. ) I wiold be stationed in Germany for 4 year’s working as a transportatin specialist. This is Gulf War ! But I became Very Physically ILL-THIS WAS MY OWN PERSONAL-Anexoria/Bulima/ DEMON, AND, I had gotten my weight ALL THE WAY DOWN TO : 87 lbs, on my 5’3″ frame. I was very ILL- with anexoria/ bullimai, in the process, I was VERY UNDER-WEIGHT, For nthe Miliatay I wa cut loose.

    But my Mother says ” That I was very Lucky Not to have served in the A.R.M.Y. -Gulf War.” Mom was supportive of my desicision to join the A.R.M.Y. , But still my mom has lost (deceased) her, brother : My Uncle Rick/My Uncle Rick was legaly only 17 year old, but he had a forged I.D. which would make hime 18 years old. My Uncle Rick did two tour’s of duty Vietinam, joined at the age of 17. My Uncle Rick came back home strung out on drugs, and in 1979 : He commited sucide. My Mother/ My Uncle Rick’s Sister (My Mom) is still wanting to know why – why sucide ? ! P.S. I apoligize is this is such a : Not a Q & A : from Me Rebecca, but I know this is a Heavy Subject. With what I understand not all of the answers, or Q& A, is clear
    Yake Care Jr , You are a Light in my daytime Soap, and Personally. reality ! P.S. Just like my mother had stated “that I, Rebecca, here Daughter , was lucky to not have to serve in the militaty ” Oct 14, 2009.

  107. Spideymom says:

    J.R. – I hope you know that the longtime fans of All My Children absolutely LOVE you and we also LOVE Brot! The producers hit a home run when they brought you onto the canvas. You are a terrific addition to the show and we hope you stay a long time. We are really enjoying watching you grow as an actor.

  108. estelle says:

    hi j.r i hope you remember me i was i the soap nation on oct 24 theres a pic of you and me im so happy to had meet you and thank so much for giving me great advice hope to hear from you

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