On April 10, 2013 Ontario City Library will host J. R. Martinez, actor, inspirational speaker, radio talk show host, and author of “Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit,” at Ontario Convention Center. Mr. Martinez will deliver his message of hope, “Facing Adversity with Optimism and Resilience,” at 6:30 PM to those who wish to hear his story. The talk will be followed by a book sale and signing.
Mr. Martinez is a decorated veteran, a television star of ABC’s “All My Children,” the winner of the thirteenth season of “Dancing With the Stars,” the 2012 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal, and a devoted father. In addition, Mr. Martinez has received many awards and honors for his military service and his commitment to helping others: the 2012 National Red Cross Spirit Award, the 2012 National Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award, and the 2012 California Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award, to name a few. He has also appeared on numerous television programs, and he is involved with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Rebuilding American Warriors, and the USO.
Mr. Martinez was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was raised in Shreveport and in Dalton, Georgia. Growing up, he was an athlete who enjoyed playing football in high school. Following his graduation, Mr. Martinez joined the U. S. Army and was proud to serve. He viewed his enlistment as a way to give something back to the country that had given so much to him and his family. After Mr. Martinez underwent Basic and Advanced Training, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. He was then deployed to Iraq.
Less than a month into his deployment, while driving a Humvee, he hit a roadside bomb. Trapped inside the vehicle, he suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to 34% of his body. Mr. Martinez spent 34 months in recovery and underwent 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. During his time in recovery, a nurse asked him to speak to a burn patient who had just seen his body for the first time and had become withdrawn. Mr. Martinez was able to encourage the patient, and it was then that he decided to use his experience to help others. His book tells his inspirational story of service and celebrity.
This event is free and includes free parking. It is open to the public of all ages. Ontario Convention Center is located at 2000 E. Convention Center Way in Ontario. Additional activities have been planned in connection with this event which include four free dance classes and two book discussions. For information about J. R. Martinez or any related events please call (909) 395 – 2252.