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We bet that when injured Iraq war vet J.R. Martinez signed on to play the role of Brot on ALL MY CHILDREN in 2008, he never imagined that it would lead him to taking home the mirrorball trophy on DANCING WITH THE STARS three years later! Last night, Martinez and his pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, were crowned the Season 13 victors in the ABC dancing competition. “You have to step up to the challenge and believe in yourself,” Martinez told reporters last night after his big win. “Even if you fall, failure is not falling down, but it’s the reason to get up.”

While the soldier’s inspirational story and bravery was already known to his fans from the soap world, competing on DANCING gave Martinez the opportunity to share his history with the rest of America, even landing on the cover of People magazine a few weeks ago. “I’m going to write a book and continue acting and continue motivational speaking,” he shared of his future plans. “I want to write a book and tell people the story outside of what they already know. That’s the biggest thing for me; I want to continue to share as much of this experience [and] every experience I have been through in my life with all the people that I can. And from time to time, call up Karina and ask her to meet me around the corner to do a little dance!”

While he was thrilled to hold the trophy in his own hands, Martinez was even happier that his partner won her first DANCING competition. “She’s an amazing person and I’m so grateful for the fact that I was able to be a part of the journey and her winning her first memorable trophy,” he said of Smirnoff. “She deserves it, she needs to be put in an elite category when it comes to people that have won on the show. The fact that I was able to be a part of that is an amazing honor for me.”

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