Praise & Recognition

I cannot thank each of you enough for your help. With this being my first "celebrity" experience, you all made it very easy and I truly appreciate all you did.
Rhinebeck Area Chamber of Commerce

WME could not have been more efficient, more understanding, nor better prepared. The event turned out to be spectacular and due in large measure to their professionalism and diligence. We could not have been more pleased!
Association for Financial Professionals
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J.R. Martinez
U.S. Army Veteran, Winner, Dancing With The Stars
Bestselling Author of Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit
J.R. Martinez is an actor, bestselling author, motivational speaker, advocate, and wounded U.S. Army veteran. He is many things. But perhaps most significantly, he is an inspiration.

J.R.'s career path has been incredible, and perhaps even a bit improbable. Once a high school football player from a small town in Georgia, the only son of a single working mother who emigrated from El Salvador, J.R.'s trajectory is nothing if not surprising. Even to him.

Jose Rene Martinez was born June 14, 1983 in Shreveport, Louisiana to Maria Zavala. His two sisters, Consuelo and Anabel, were raised in El Salvador with his mother's family. He never met Anabel, who died as a young child. At nine years old, J.R. moved with his mother to Hope, Arkansas, where he lived until he was 18. He then moved to Dalton, Georgia, a place he proudly calls his hometown. J.R. always loved playing football and had aspirations of making it to the NFL.

After high school, he joined the army. J.R. was proud to serve, as a way to give something back to a country that had already given so much to him and to his family. In September of 2002, J.R. underwent Basic and Advanced Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he gained skills as an 11-B Infantryman. After reporting to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in January of 2003, he was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.

In March of 2003, J.R. was deployed to Iraq. On April 5, he was driving a Humvee in Karbala when his left front tire hit a roadside bomb. The three other soldiers were ejected from the burning vehicle, but J.R. was trapped inside. He suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to 34 percent of his body. J.R. claims that while he was fighting for his life and awaiting medical help, his sister, Anabel, appeared to him giving him the strength to live.
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Speaking Topics

Bilingual in English and Spanish, J.R. customizes his speeches for each audience.

His topics include:

Facing Adversity with Optimism and Resilience

None of us knows what we're capable of until we're faced with a tough or unexpected challenge. Often this means having to adjust your dream or vision and sometimes event to create an entirely new goal.

It can also mean getting through a tough time a week, day, hour or even minute at a time.

By focusing on shorter term goals and keeping optimism (and even humor) at the forefront, your entire outlook and perspective can be transformed. We are all stronger and more resilient than we think. In facing challenges and recovering from setbacks, we have new opportunities to develop the unique gifts that have been given to us.

It's about being able to become more what you can envision at the moment.

Plugging into Your Potential

True potential can only be realized by believing, trusting and not quitting.

JR explores the power of goal setting, staying motivated, and developing the perseverance that will get you to your destination. Each fork in the road is a chance to make a decision that will take you either closer or further from your goal. If you choose correctly, there are endless possibilities.

And, while keeping focused on your goal is a good thing, you shouldn't do it to the point of 'getting stuck.'

JR shows the importance of being open minded to new opportunities and fluid enough to respond to circumstances that, while unexpected, take you further than you ever thought possible.

Paying it Forward: The Return is Priceless

All of us have the power to make an impact on a life, either positively or negatively. Our words, our actions are powerful. How we treat others not only affects them, it shapes us.  And, frankly, why should we do something for someone else?

The payoff is bigger than you can imagine.  When you use the unique power and gifts you have inside to help others, not only do you benefit, but the person you help can teach you things about yourself in a positive light.

Respecting Yourself and Others

The best things come when we respect ourselves, and others. While we tend to see ourselves as "normal" we should see others as normal in their own way.  In their own skin. Be proud of who you are, and recognize that every single person has worth. Every person has something they bring to the table.

JR has spent countless hours listening to people through the stories they tell. People can teach you so much if you just listen-accept them for who they are, flaws and all…and that begins with respecting

For Faith Based Groups

J.R. can tailor a talk specifically for faith based groups.  His faith helped him through his ordeal and recovery, and he truly believes that God was in his corner.  As J.R. says, "God doesn't always put you in it, but having solid faith pulls you through it."


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Accolades & Praise

Bob Woodruff, Journalist, ABC

I have known J.R. Martinez since 2007, and I have to say that I have met very few people who have not only recovered but have become hugely inspirational. The truth is J.R. should not have survived, but because of this miracle he is on a mission. Now he is driving down that road with amazing speed.

United States Sports Academy

Martinez never quit on life, and there are many who are grateful he didn't....Instead of hiding from his situation, Martinez became a beacon of courage for wounded warriors, helping them visualize the possibilities in life.

Lander University

J.R. was a breath of fresh air to our campus. The students were left motivated, inspired and truly touched. After receiving a rousing standing ovation, J.R. was kind enough to take time out to speak to students individually. If you are looking for a speaker with the ability to motivate, captivate and invigorate your campus, look no further than J.R. Martinez.


Personal stories are powerful teaching tools. Learning how to overcome obstacles and challenges are especially useful for entrepreneurs as they work to grow successful businesses from the ground up. J.R. Martinez's message to our 2011 National Conference attendees provided insightful, emotionally charged wisdom and lessons learned from his life experience. His message resonated with hope and the power of a positive attitude. Regardless of what circumstances or setbacks interfere with our life plans, J.R.'s encouragement inspired our attendees to not give up on their dreams.

U.S. Air Force Personnel Center

The effect you had on the audience was tremendous! It was the dose of reality they needed to put their work, lives and even their family in the right perspective. You vastly exceeded all of our expectations. You have a God given skill (treasure) to get in front of an audience and speak from the heart. That is so hard to find in today's world. This may sound trite but when you speak, whatever mental 'vacation' someone is on, you bring them into your listening audience and they leave embracing your message...a message of hope, care, and compassion."-Major General Anthony Przybyslawski, Air ForceYour message about overcoming adversity in the toughest of times permeated their hearts and souls that day, and you changed many of their lives forever. I remember that day well as we packed the theatre with about 1100 people and not seeing a dry eye in the house. I'm so very proud of you and for what you continue to do. You are a class act...and I'm thankful our paths have crossed."-Chief Master Sgt. Stephen B. Page, Air Force

Raymour and Flanigan

J.R.'s message to our team of sales professionals, executives and operations leaders was incredibly powerful. The audience represented a diverse mix of roles and backgrounds, but to a person, J.R.'s message was heartfelt and it truly resonated. Each person in the audience was touched by his passion, humility and sense of humor when sharing his story. We went from tears to laughter, and then to an overwhelming feeling of empowerment. J.R. leaves his audience with the belief in themselves that the sky is truly the limit. . I would highly recommend J.R. Martinez as a highly-effective inspirational speaker

National Emergency Number Association

 In the Emergency Services, we see and hear the worst - and we do all that we can to celebrate the best. J.R. walked away with a small piece of everyone of us that day - we came from all parts of the U.S., Canada and Malaysia.  A room rich with cultural and spiritual diversity, and he captivated all of us. I came away with renewed spirit. Doesn't get any better than that!

Points of Light National Conference on Volunteering and Service

J.R. Martinez is an outstanding advocate for service and change. We were honored to have him share his energy and optimism at our National Conference on Volunteering and Service. J.R.'s passion and enthusiasm captured the imagination of the 5,000 civic leaders in the audience. He is tremendously effective at communicating the struggles that veterans face and the opportunity we have to serve them. - Michelle Nunn, CEO

Midwest Womens Health Care Expo

 J.R. was great.  He couldn't have been nicer or more enthusiastic. Thanks for all that you and WME did to make the whole process seamless.  I hope to get the chance to work with you again.


HCA Midwest Health System

The J.R. appearance went great.  He couldn't have been nicer or more enthusiastic.

Learning TECH/Quest School

What an incredible man!  Please tell me that he touched so many people at LearningTECH/Quest School's event. I have had texts, calls, and face-to-face testimonials about the power of J. R.'s message.  Our entire Quest School family and guests truly benefitted from his message and his sincere desire to communicate with people.  He spent over three quality hours with our guests who were inspired and eager to let J.R. and your staff know that our wait was definitely worth it. Again thank you for your help.  If you ever need a reference to promote J.R. as a person first and motivator second, please let us know.


Learning TECH/Quest School

His sincere, heart-warming message about facing adversity with strength and spirit was invaluable to students and adults of all ages. His presentation affirmed in a positive way that we often do not have choices about life's challenges, but we do have choices about the manner in which we face those challenges.  J. R. doesn't speak to impress; he speaks to inspire.

American Optometric Association

JR received very positive reviews! I heard nothing but good things about him. Our awards portion of the show went long and he just went with it and modified his talk a bit to end on time.  He was very personable with everyone at the meet and greet.

SC Workers Compensation Educational Association

He was amazing and the perfect fit for our meeting. He was personable, funny, quick and delivered a message that everyone could embrace. It was  nice fit for our conference.


Notable Works

Buy Now
Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit

Relevant Links


Related News

J.R. Martinez wants to inspire through his memoir, “Full of Heart”

It’s been almost a decade since J.R. Martinez’ humvee hit a mine in Iraq, resulting in severe injuries and burns on his face and more than one-third of his body. Few of us have done in a lifetime what he has done in the nine years since his accident.  Martinez spent little time worried about his scarred appearance.
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