J.R. Martinez honored for inspirational acts
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- The Circle of Care Foundation presented Iraq war veteran J.R. Martinez with its Spirit of Hope Award on Thursday.
The award was created to honor burn survivors who inspire others with their actions.
Martinez, an actor, motivational speaker and current "Dancing With The Stars" contestant, almost lost his life when his Humvee hit a land mine and exploded on the battlefield in Iraq nearly a decade ago.
Martinez suffered burns to more than 40 percent of his body, including his face. He has undergone numerous surgeries.
Martinez is on a campaign to raise money to aid other injured veterans. He says he is honored by the award.
"After I was injured and my life was almost taken, I made a pact to make the most and the best out of the second chance I was given in life and what I want to do is help everybody make the most out of the first chance that they got because who knows if they'll get a second chance like I was able to get.," Martinez said.
Linda David of the Circle of Care Foundation, which raises money for the Grossman Burn Centers, said Martinez is a true motivator.
"He's using his injury to help and advise other people," she said.
Several stars were in attendance for the event honoring Martinez, including "Dancing With The Stars" professional dancer Karina Smirnoff and co-contestant actor David Arquette.
"He's the greatest. He really is just a standup guy, a hero, a real inspiration," Arquette said.
"He's very inspiration because he doesn't try to hide his burn injury, but it also doesn't identify him," said Dr. Peter Grossman of the Grossman Burn Centers.
dancing with the stars, charity, celebrity, entertainment, leo stallworth
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