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J.R. Martinez preparing for next big role: Star of Rose Parade

November 25, 2011 |  5:09 am

J.R. Martinez named Rose Parade Grand Marshal

J.R. Martinez, the injured soldier who won ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" contest this week, is preparing for his next big role: Grand marshal for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade on Jan. 2.

Martinez underwent 33 surgeries after his Humvee triggered a land mine in Iraq in 2003 and he suffered burns over much of his body.

"To be able to participate in such an iconic American tradition is such an honor for me," Martinez said at a press conference at the tournament headquarters in Pasadena earlier this month.

“I always knew if I found ways to stay positive, if I found ways to maintain a great attitude, if I found ways to continuously make a choice to want something better for myself…to make the most of this second opportunity to help those around me, good things would happen,” he added at the time.

“J.R. Martinez is an inspiration to us all and a natural fit for our theme Just Imagine…,” Rick Jackson, president of the Tournament of Roses said in a statement.

“J.R. is not only a courageous and engaging role model for us all but has dedicated himself to helping not only servicemen and servicewomen, but all Americans facing challenges," he added. "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.”

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-- Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News

Photo: J.R. Martinez on the front lawn of the Tournament House on Tuesday after being named the grand marshal for the Pasadena Tournament of of Roses parade on Jan. 2. Credit: Cheryl Guerrero / Times Community News

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