J.R. Martinez is a motivational speaker and actor on ABC's "All My Children."
In April 2003, J.R. was serving as a humvee driver for the United State Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine. He suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body. J.R. was immediately evacuated to Landstuhl, Germany, and eventually sent to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, TX, where he spent 34 months in recovery. Since his injury, J.R. has undergone 32 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. While in recovery, he started speaking to other burn patients within the hospital, sharing his experiences and listening to theirs. News of his story and efforts to help other people quickly spread, first on a local level and then to national circuits.
J.R. has been featured in The Washington Post, PEOPLE magazine, the New York Times, and New York Daily News, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, The View, CNN, Inside Edition, FOX News, Good Morning America, Univision, along with other major national news outlets. He has traveled the country since 2004, spreading his message of resilience and optimism. Today J.R. is a sought-after motivational speaker, called on by a wide-range of groups, including large corporations, veterans groups, schools, and other organizations, and has even shared the stage with global self-help guru Tony Robbins and evangelist Dave Roever. In October 2008, J.R. joined the cast of ABC's Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama, All My Children, as combat veteran Brot Monroe.
While J.R.'s experience is certainly life-changing, amazingly he claims this is actually a change for the better. He has discovered it's what's inside a person that matters most and devotes himself to showing others the true value in making the most of every situation.