by Free Britney at

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.

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by Free Britney at

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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by Free Britney at

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff took home the title on last night's Dancing With the Stars season finale, besting Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke in a nail-biter.

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough came in third after what was a very evenly matched final round. In the end, though, the fan favorite and top dancer took the crown.

"I joked about gluing it on the hood of my car and just driving around L.A.," J.R. said of the Mirror Ball trophy. "Or be like rappers, make a chain out of it and just wear it around! I'm going to cherish this thing every single day!"

  • J.R. Martinez, Karina Smirnoff Photo
  • J.R. and Karina: Dancing With the Stars Winners

Mirror Ball jokes aside, J.R. took a moment to thank his fans, saying, "We just want to thank everyone who voted for us for 10 weeks and believed in us week in and week out! I had no idea what it would feel like and it feels amazing."

Though she says all the finalists were "a team of friends who compete and enjoy the process," Karina admits it was nice to win the competition - her first in 10 seasons.

"To come out on top at the end and to hold [the trophy], it's so beautiful."

J.R., the 28-year-old Iraq War veteran, motivational speaker and soap opera star, partly credits his fellow competitors Rob and Ricki for his big victory.

"Both of them did so well and were so great. It was great that we all progressed because they actually pushed us to be better," said the true class act.

Watch the moment of truth below ...

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by Free Britney at

It all came down to one last Dancing With the Stars results show.

After 10 weeks of competiton, Ricki Lake, J.R. Martinez and Rob Kardashian headed into the DWTS season finale Tuesday with one last chance to win it all.

Rob took a slight lead Monday night, with Ricki and J.R. steady but not perfect and in a tie for second. Clearly, all three deserved their spots in the finals.

  • Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
  • Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
  • J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff

Who hoisted the Mirror Ball, Rob, Ricki or J.R.?

While J.R. and Ricki traded the top spot much of the season, Rob came on strong late.

A dark horse underdog for weeks, he rose to the occasion and proved he belonged with some outstanding performances this week. But would they be enough?

Follow the jump to see who prevailed on the Dancing With the Stars season finale ...

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by Free Britney at

J.R. Martinez made his case for the Mirror Ball on the final night of performances on Dancing With the Stars. But will America deliver it for him this evening?

After suffering an injury last week, but the 28-year-old Iraq War vet, soap opera star and motivational speaker gave it his all in the cha cha and the freestyle.

The judges weren't in agreement on his first dance with partner Karina Smirnoff. The duo earned a 7 from Len, and 8 from Carrie Ann and a 9 from Bruno.

One thing the judges could agree on, however, was Martinez's freestyle. He earned a perfect 30, leaving him a tie for second with Ricki Lake for the night.

Whether J.R. or Ricki can overtake surprise frontrunner Rob Kardashian all depends on voter turnout. Watch J.R.'s final two dances of the season below ...

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by Free Britney at

The 13th season of Dancing With the Stars has come down to one night.

Ricki Lake. Rob Kardashian. J.R. Martinez. All worthy parquet performers, as we know, but there can be only one Mirror Ball holder at the end of this. Who will it be?

Apparently no one told Rob that J.R. and Ricki were the consensus picks all season long, or that he was a 4-1 underdog headed into the final Monday of the season.

Because he's in sole possession of the lead right now!

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke

His lead is only three points over both competitors, so this is going down to the wire. But who thought Rob Kardashian would be here now, let alone in first place?

Seriously, if you've watched this season at all, you knew he was good, maybe even a dark horse contender. But few saw him ever sitting on top of the world.

Rob and Cheryl Burke earned a perfect 30, their first of the fall, with a retro, Charleston-utilizing freestyle. When he said it was his time to peak, he meant it!

"This competition is often won or lost in the freestyle round and to get a 10 you have to blow us away. Consider me blown!" raved DWTS judge Carrie Ann Inaba.

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff earned a 30 of their own with an '80s hip-hop / samba mash-up that made you wanna get down. But their first dance hurt them.

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by Free Britney at

J.R. Martinez and Ricki Lake have been swapping the first place spot all season on Dancing With the Stars. Last night, it was definitely the latter's turn on top.

While he's never one to complain (look at all he's been through in life), J.R. rolled his right ankle in rehearsal and then twisted it again during his routines.

The famous smile that lights up the dance floor was barely there Monday, replaced by grimaces of pain and looks of disappointment. His posture was off.

J.R. and Karina Smirnoff did manage to turn in a sexy Argentine tango to make up for a subpar Paso Doble, but it'll be up to fans to carry him through.

Can J.R. earn a spot in next week's DWTS finals after an off week that saw him finish a distant third? Watch his performances and see what you think ...

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by Free Britney at

Last night's Dancing With the Stars was the J.R. Martinez show.

He had two chances to redeem himself from an off-week last Monday and boy did he deliver. If this continues, everyone else is dancing for second place.

Martinez scored, not one but two, perfect 30s - first for his waltz, then for his instant jive with Karina Smirnoff - the first dancer to do so in Season 13.

“It was like a musical Valentine card,” DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli said. “You dance with your heart on your sleeve. Totally involved, totally dedicated.”

“This is a war on the floor,” Len Goodman added. “Each week is a battle. Last week you retreated a bit, but, like the soldier you are you came back, guns blazing.”

The Iraq War vet, soap opera actor and motivational speaker certainly has the inspiring story, fan support and dance moves to take home the Mirror Ball.

Can J.R. Martinez be stopped? We'll find out in the coming weeks, but it looks like the title could he his to lose. Watch his instant jive after the jump:

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by Free Britney at

Call it the DWTS version of the Sports Illustrated or Madden curse.

Actor and Iraq veteran J.R. Martinez, who has tied Ricki Lake for first place in previous weeks and held the top spot when she hasn't, fell a bit short of expectations last night, right after appearing in a glowing cover story for People magazine.

Nevertheless, his score of 25 was far from shabby - even if it his recent efforts made it feel "substandard" as Len said - and he likely won't be punished by viewers for the group dance that netted him a modest 23 for 48 points in all.

Take a look at J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff's routine Monday:

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by Free Britney at

J.R. Martinez is dominating Dancing With the Stars this season, and it's not because of his fancy footwork (although he's certainly not a slouch in that area).

His life, featured on People's cover, is one of triumph and redemption.

For millions of Dancing with the Stars fans, there's never been an easier contender to root for, given his dance moves, personality and compelling life story.

JR Martinez and Karina Smirnoff Pic

"I'm being blessed in so many ways, and it's because of the energy I'm putting out in the world," says the All My Children actor, who backs that claim up.

J.R. Martinez survived a 2003 explosion while a soldier serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq. The trauma was unimaginable, but worth it in the end, he says.

If not for the Humvee he was driving hitting a land mine, "My life would not be what it is today: full of joy, happiness and positivity," Martinez reflects.

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