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Monday, September 5, 2011

Who is JR Martinez? Hint: AMC and DWTS

Do you recognize those acronyms?  No, they aren't Army acronyms. No need to dig out your copy of AR 25-52.  You won't find them there.  Here's a hint.  ABC.  No, not the Alphabet.  Okay ... here's one more hint.  American Broadcasting Company.

I've admitted this before but I'll say it again.  I am an All My Children addict.  I was crushed when the announcement came in April of this year that one of my longtime favorite soaps was coming to an end after a 41-year run.  I've been watching since it first started in 1970 when I was just a grade schooler in Chicago.  Remember when Susan Lucci was playing a spoiled teenager?  Now she's playing a spoiled 60 year old woman.

Three years ago they introduced the character of Brot Monroe.  Brot is an injured war Veteran.  I'd heard AMC was casting for a real life Vet for this part so I did a little research into this new actor.  It was true.  The character of Brot is played by JR Martinez, a Veteran of the Iraq War.  What you see on television is what you get.  That's not make-up, my friends.  That's the real thing.  Those scars are the result of his humvee hitting a landmine in Iraq.  I have to say kudo's to ABC for not slapping make-up on an actor and calling them "war wounds".  It took guts for them for them to use a real Wounded Warrior. When he first came on the show you could tell he was new to the acting world.  As time has passed he has gotten better and better.  He deserves an Emmy for some of his performances on AMC.

Why am I writing about him, you ask?  Is it because AMC is going off the air?  Nope.  It's because he's on Dancing with the Stars this season.  I'm not a huge fan of DWTS though I do admit to occasionally watching and monitoring the progression of the Stars.  The upcoming season is not without its controversy.  There are a lot of pissed off viewers because of the selection of Chaz Bono.  Two Dancing Stars will be getting my votes this season for their courage.  JR and Chaz.

JR recovering from one of 33 surgery's
Back to JR Martinez who in my mind is a true American Hero.  Read his bio on the Dancing with the Stars website.  It's quite impressive. You can also hear him speak about his selection as a contestant here.  It's not his status as an actor or his selection to dance that makes him a hero.  It's the fact that he joined the Army, went to war, got injured, fought through 34 months of recovery at Brook Army Medical Center and survived to tell the tale.  In addition to his acting duties at All My Children he takes time to do motivational speaking to help other Wounded Warriors.  He hasn't turned his back on his brothers and sisters even though he's hit the bigtime.  Take a look at his resume on  I'm not sure who is responsible for posting it, but it's very modest.  No mention of his military awards and decorations of which I'm sure are plentiful.

JR in character as Brot Monroe
JR has his own website.  You can browse it here.  In my opinion, it's as striking as he is.  Here's a guy who lived a simple life. He was a high school athlete raised by a single mother from El Salvador.  After his graduation he joined the Army after seeing a commercial for the same.  He enlisted as an 11B Infantryman, was injured and during his recovery found a calling.  That calling was to motivate other Wounded Warriors.  Long before he made it as a success on AMC, he was doing motivational speaking.  He started doing that while he was still a patient at Brook.  Did his acting career propel him to further heights?  Probably.  That's okay though.  AMC has given him further exposure to a different population of America.  Who watches Soaps?  No longer are stay at home moms the only viewers.  Viewers these days are the parents, wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends of active duty service members and Veterans.  JR's recurring role as Brot throws the reality of the wounds of war in the faces of the American public.  That's one thing you can say for AMC .... they don't back down from controversial story lines.   They never have.  Unfortunately, after September 23, 2011,  that will come to and end.  All My Children will be no more unless the internet rumors that it will continue to broadcast online are true.

Then and Now
But, I digress .... if you're a regular here you know I do that often.  If you're new here, welcome.  Now you know the real truth.  I'm the one weary soldier and my mind wanders a bit.  This post is about JR Martinez and his decision to be a contestant on this seasons Dancing With The Stars.  I fully support that decision and I call out to each of you to support him.  Even if you don't watch the show, you can still support him.  The show premieres on Monday, September 19, 2011.  You can go to the Dancing With The Stars website and cast your vote for JR immediately after each and every episode.  Sarah Palin got her political backers to cast votes to keep her horribly untalented daughter (in my opinion) on DWTS for far too long.  She should have been gone weeks before she was finally voted off by the viewers.  What that shows us is there is power in voting blocks .... like you didn't already know that.  Let's all rally around JR and show him how powerful Veterans can be.  Let's show them that we are proud of this man, this Wounded Warrior and that we will back him all the way to the Championship.  

What do you say, my friends?  Are you with me?  Will you vote for JR Martinez?

Until the next time ......

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