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J.R. Martinez

Inspiring Iraq War Veteran, Bestselling Author, Season 13 Winner of Dancing with the Stars, Popular Actor, Motivational Speaker

Travels From:
California
Fee Range:
20,000 - 30,000

J.R. Martinez’s touching story of survival leaves audiences inspired, impressed, and in awe of J.D.’s resiliency and aptitude for kindness.

Featured Videos

Motivation & Inspiration | KnowJR.com

J.R. Martinez Johnson&Johnson Keynote | 2012 NATA

J.R. Martinez at Third Annual Heroes Gala

Speaker Resources

Bio

J.R. Martinez is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, advocate, wounded U.S. Army veteran, and actor who has been featured on All My Children, Dancing with the Stars, SAF3 and more.

While deployed to Iraq, J.R. hit a roadside bomb while driving and became trapped in his burning vehicle. He suffered smoke inhalation, severe burns, and had to undergo 34 different surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery in the years following his injury. After a brief visit with another burn patient in recovery, J.R. realized that he'd made a positive impact on this individual and decided to use his own experiences to help others. He continued to visit patients every day, sharing his story and listening to theirs. He learned that inspiration is often a two-way street.

A highly sought-after motivational speaker, Martinez travels the world spreading his message of resilience and optimism. He has spoken to troops at various bases around the world, as well as to groups such as the Clinton Global Initiative, the Red Cross, and dozens of universities, non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies. His New York Times bestselling memoir, Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength and Spirit, details how he was able to take his personal tragedy and turn it into an inspiration for others, a message he also brings to worldwide organizations. His story is unique, but his message is universal: your path in life is decided by your own ability to adapt and overcome.

Speech Topics

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.


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.


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.


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.


As a Latino-American, J.R.’s story goes beyond his time in the U.S. Army. He is the proud son of a single mother from El Salvador, who came to this country out of desperation and to give her child a future. She soon grew to love this country as much as any citizen. She worked hard, gained her American citizenship, and in doing so, she instilled in J.R. the notion of service: service to family, service to community, and service to country. J.R. truly relates to the millions of first generation Latino-Americans who were born with that inherent drive to serve, and to make their world a better place for the next generation. As a proud American citizen and an example of the American dream, J.R. celebrates what is possible in this great country of ours with hard work and a dream. As a proud American citizen and an example of the American dream, J.R. celebrates what is possible in this great country of ours with hard work and a dream.