J.R. Martinez Honored By U.S. Defense Department, Named Rose Parade Grand Marshal

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Let the J.R. Martinez victory tour begin.

Dancing With the Stars champion J.R. Martinez received an invitation from U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to visit the Pentagon and meet Panetta in person.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Panetta's respect for J.R., an Iraq War veteran, motivational speaker and actor, was displayed in a congratulatory note:

J.R. and Karina Pic

J.R. and Karina Smirnoff won the ABC competition Monday.

"Your strength and spirit have captivated the nation, and your victory sends a strong message about the strength and resilience of our wounded warriors."

The Defense Secretary then personally called J.R. to invite him to meet in person. J.R. Martinez will address thousands of active and retired troops while in D.C.

It seems everyone wants a piece of the man. Along with his journey to the Pentagon, Martinez has been named the Grand Marshal of the 2012 Rose Parade. 

The annual extravaganza takes place New Year's Day. Not only that, the 28-year-old will co-host the pre-show of CNN's Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.

If you're looking for a true inspiration, you could do a lot worse.

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DianaCostaaa on November 7, 2011 My foatrive food is Spaghetti Bolognese, can eat that all day, and my mom does the best, now i want to eat some, annnnnnnh :3Awesome giveaway btw ????

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DWTS 2011 finale J.R. Martinez Winning Moment Video: http://is.gd/oyTDIf

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Love JR ..God bless you

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@Vicki you don't understand why JR is being honored. It isn't because he won a reality show, but because he had to overcome so much to do so. Yes all wounded soldiers should be respected, but so many of them are overwhelmed by the challenges they face. JR is an example for everyone facing adversity.

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Congratulations to J.R. He did an excellent job. Holds hinself with grace and dignity. A real inspiration to others in how to overcome adversity.

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Love JR!!! He deserves to be honored!! Its about time we honor our real heros like him. Its a bonus that he can dance & act. He is truly amazing!!! Go JR!!!

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Our war heroes shouldn't have to win a reality show contest to get this kind of recognition. They ALL deserve it. They earned it fighting for us. That said, I am a big fan of JR (since before DWTS) & am very happy for all the accolades he receives.

Dancing with the Stars Quotes

We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before.

Cristian de la Fuente [following his injury, trip to the hospital and subsequent stellar performance]

I am not the best dancer, and I have not been the best dancer from the beginning. I am happy we made it this far.

Cristian de la Fuente
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