Ontario City Library will host J. R. Martinez, actor, inspirational speaker, radio talk show host, and author of “Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit,” at the Ontario Convention Center on April 10.
Martinez will deliver his message of hope, “Facing Adversity with Optimism and Resilience,” followed by a book sale and signing. Martinez most recently won the 13th season of the television show “Dancing With the Stars.”
In addition, Martinez has received many awards and honors for his military service and his commitment to helping others: the 2012 National Red Cross Spirit Award, the 2012 National Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award, and the 2012 California Disabled American Veteran of the Year Award, to name a few.
He has also appeared on numerous television programs, and he is involved with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, Rebuilding American Warriors, and the USO.
Martinez was born in Shreveport, La. He was raised in Shreveport and in Dalton, Ga. Growing up, he was an athlete who enjoyed playing football in high school. Following his graduation, Martinez joined the U. S. Army and viewed his enlistment as a way to give something back to the country that had given so much to him and his family.
After Martinez underwent basic and advanced training, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
He was deployed to Iraq. Less than a month into his deployment, while driving a Humvee, he hit a roadside bomb.
Trapped inside the vehicle, he suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to 34 percent of his body.
He spent 34 months in recovery and underwent 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.
This event begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free. It is open to the public of all ages.
Ontario Convention Center is at 2000 E. Convention Center Way in Ontario.