• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

'Dancing With The Stars' champ JR Martinez gets Pentagon invite

J.R. Martinez, who won season 13 of 'Dancing With The Stars,' is seen in this file photo.

November 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
As it turns out, "Dancing With The Stars" season 13 champion J.R. Martinez has some fans in high places.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Martinez on Friday to congratulate him on winning the mirror ball trophy and extended an invitation to meet him at the Pentagon.

During their 10-minute conversation, Panetta told Martinez he demonstrated the strength and resilience of wounded veterans, Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby said.

Martinez, 28, was severely burned over more than 40 percent of his body when the Humvee he was driving for the U.S. Army in Iraq struck a land mine in 2003. After dozens of operations during a nearly three-year recovery, Martinez became a motivational speaker and in 2008 won a role on the now-retired ABC soap opera "All My Children."

View photos from week 10 of "Dancing With The Stars."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Load Comments