J.R. Martinez has something else to celebrate after his win on Dancing with the Stars.
The Tournament of Roses has just named Martinez grand marshal of the Jan. 1 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, reports UPI.com.
Bestowed with this honor is a place for Martinez at the front of the 123rd edition of the parade. The Rose Parade is broadcast worldwide on television and leads up to the Rose Bowl college football game.
Martinez, an Iraq war veteran who was severely burned during an explosion in 2003, embodies this year's theme, Just Imagine. Tournament officials said that it fits the DWTS winner perfectly.
J.R. is not only a courageous and engaging role model for us all but has dedicated himself to helping not only servicemen and servicewomen, but all Americans facing challenges, Tournament President Rick Jackson said in a statement.
His outlook on life is admirable and we couldn't be happier to have the chance to celebrate the New Year with him.
Martinez won the DWTS competition with dancing partner Karina Smirnoff. It marked the first win for Smirnoff.
His mirror-ball win got him a phone call and a letter from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, reports People magazine.
Panetta congratulated Martinez and commended his advocacy on behalf of other wounded veterans.
Over the course of this competition, your spirit captivated the nation and your victory sends a powerful message about the strength and resilience of our wounded warriors, said Panetta.
The 28-year-old has had other small-screen success in the past, after appearing on ABC soap opera All My Children. But the DWTS win will surely prove to be unforgettable.
We've been able to create a lot of magical moments on the show and to top it off with this is amazing, Martinez said, holding the glittery trophy.
And my friend, she deserves it, he continued, looking at Smirnoff. She's an amazing dancer and she should be in that category with the elite when it comes to this show and hold her own trophy up. The fact that I was able to be part of that journey, I'm excited about that.