J.R. Martinez Awarded Unsung Hero Honor

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The Mirror Ball now has some company in J.R. Martinez's trophy case.

The Iraq War veteran, motivational speaker, advocate and actor who won Dancing with the Stars this fall put on his dancing shoes to help other disabled vets Friday.

As the guest of honor at Lois Pope's the Lady in Red Ball at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, he was presented with the Unsung Hero Award.

JR and Karina

J.R. won for "overcoming devastating injuries to make a full life for himself and bringing the plight of three million living disabled veterans into our consciousness."

Martinez was asked to donate a dance at the event to the person who pledged $25,000 to benefit the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. He obliged.

"I am truly honored to be here, because Lois Pope's mission to build this Memorial in Washington is so awesome for someone like me to see," Martinez told People.

Pope, the widow of the founder of the celeb gossip magazine National Enquirer, is currently financing the expansive memorial on 2.4 acres in Washington, D.C.

A donor, who pledged the money for the memorial, deferred to Pope, who enjoyed her dance with Martinez. "I am so thrilled to meet his charming man," Pope said.

"I voted for him on Dancing with the Stars and asked all my friends to do the same. I am tremendously honored and inspired to be in his presence."

Martinez, who took time to talk to everyone at the gala, was wounded in a 2003 land mine explosion in Iraq and required 33 surgeries over two years.

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I wonder why JR Marinez has apparently not been offered an acting job or been given a hosting job in TV? Usually stars who become that popular on DWTS, especially winning, are hired for something. Riki Lake was given a talk show, and I would bet JR has way more fans interested in him than Ricki does. I just wonder if there is an unspoken prejudice against JR because of the scars? As nice as they act in public, is the entertainment industry still operating under some idea that the public wouldn't like to see JR every week or every day on TV????? If they think that, they are wrong. JR has charisma and he's the hero type our country needs right now.

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JR has overcome what most would have not tried and become discouraged. I am proud of you for so many things: serving our country, fighting to return to a normal life enduring 33 surgeries, and showing our country there are much worse things than what people complain about on a daily basis. People need to realize that it's not what you see on the outside but rather on the inside that make you the person you become. Keep living your dream. My dream will be to meet you some day!

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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