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Karina Smirnoff

J.R., 28, has quite the back story. He's an Iraq War veteran, motivational speaker and actor on ABC’s All My Children. In April 2003, at age 19, Martinez was serving as a humvee driver for the United States Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine. He suffered smoke inhalation and burns to more than 40 percent of his body. He was immediately evacuated and sent to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX, where he spent 34 months in recovery. Since his injury, Martinez has undergone 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. While in recovery, he started speaking to other burn patients within the hospital, sharing his experiences and listening to theirs. Today he is a sought-after motivational speaker. In October 2008, he joined the cast of All My Children, as combat veteran Brot Monroe. He continues to balance his motivational speaking engagements and charity work with his acting. He is also busy working on his memoir.

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