J.R. Martinez's victory tour brought him to Anderson this week.
There, he talked about his experience in Iraq as well as winning Dancing With the Stars, and being included in People magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive issue.
“After 33 surgeries, I better be!" Martinez joked, referring to the burn treatments and skin graft operations he's endured since being badly hurt in Iraq.
Since 2003, his life story has been one of triumph over adversity.
Martinez began counseling other wounded veterans, then working as a motivational speaker all across the country before landing a role on All My Children.
Now, he's one of 2011's big breakout stars, winning DWTS, being honored by the Defense Department, Grand Marshaling the Rose Parade and so forth.
Martinez said he embraces the opportunities he has, with his newfound fame, to be an advocate for veterans, and says he will always serve our country.
"You can take away my camouflage, you can take away my M16, which is my weapon, but I look at it now... my new weapons are my words and my new uniform is my scars,” he explained. “I'm going to continue to serve in a bigger way."