'Dancing With The Stars' Winner J.R. Martinez Receives Invitation To Pentagon
There's a great moment from "That Thing You Do!" that has to sum up what J.R. Martinez must have been feeling for the past week.
As The Wonders prepare for their prime-time television debut, guitarist Steve Zahn looks over at drummer Tom Evrrett Scott and asks him with amazement "Man, how did we get here?!"
In 2003, Martinez had been wounded and permanently scarred by an IED explosion in Iraq. He had to consider himself lucky to draw every last breath after. But by 2008, he became a daytime soap-opera Cinderella story on "All My Children."
Then in 2011, he not only competed on ABC's glitz prime-time "Dancing with the Stars" but won in a thrilling season-long horserace with another comeback story, Ricki Lake.
Now that's he's won, E! reports, the man who'd just been named Grand Marshal of the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade has also been given a personal invite by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to visit the Pentagon for a personal meeting.
"Your strength and spirit captivated the nation, and your victory sends a strong message about the strength and resilience of our wounded warriors," Panetta wrote Martinez recently.
The actual invitation, though, came via a personal call from Panetta himself to Martinez. There are plans in the works for Martinez to address a crowd of several thousands active and retired veterans while visiting Washington, D.C.