Dancing With the Stars Champion JR Martinez to Pen Memoir

on January 04 2012 5:57 PM
J.R. Martinez
Iraq war veteran and "Dancing With the Stars" champion J.R. Martinez is penning a memoir. Reuters

Iraq war veteran and Dancing With the Stars champion J.R. Martinez is penning his memoir.

The twinkle-toed soldier signed a deal this week with Hyperion Books, Publishers Weekly reported.

The book is set for a fall release and will be about triumphing over extraordinary obstacles through pure resilience, according to Hyperion.  

Martinez was a 19-year-old soldier on tour in Iraq in 2003 when he drove a vehicle containing three other soldiers, including his sergeant, and an explosion knocked them off course.

The other three soldiers that were in the vehicle with me were thrown out of the vehicle at various distance and walked away with different injuries, he told Entertainment Tonight. But I was trapped inside. 

His injuries required more than 30 surgeries and left visible scars, but the veteran counts himself lucky.

I'm blessed that I walked away with only 40 percent burns, he told ET. To be trapped inside of a truck for almost ten minutes completely on fire. I'm blessed that I'm here, that I have a second chance at life.

Martinez eventually became a motivational speaker and even had a guest spot on the soap opera All My Children, in which he played an injured Iraq veteran.

He competed on Season 13 of DWTS, where he received consistently high scores.

Not bad for a guy with a butt graft, he once cracked to the Los Angeles Times.

More recently, he announced the upcoming birth of his daughter with girlfriend Diana Gonzalez-Jones. He will also take part in the documentary Trial by Fire, which will be aired later this month, according to a Fox News report.

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