After winning this season’s mirror ball trophy, Dancing With the Stars champ J.R. Martinez has suddenly become a very popular man. In addition to all the press he’s been getting for his victory this past week, the war vet and former star of All My Children has a newly busy social calendar.
First, Martinez has been named the grand marshal of this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade:
Martinez will ride at the front of the 123rd edition of the parade, which is seen on worldwide television and leads up to the Rose Bowl college football game.
This year’s parade has the theme “Just Imagine,” which tournament officials said fits Martinez perfectly.
“J.R. is not only a courageous and engaging role model for us all but has dedicated himself to helping not only servicemen and servicewomen, but all Americans facing challenges,” Tournament President Rick Jackson said in a statement. “His outlook on life is admirable and we couldn’t be happier to have the chance to celebrate the New Year with him.”
In addition, Martinez has also been invited to the Pentagon:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote the Iraqi war veteran a congratulatory note following Martinez’s victory on the ABC show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Your strength and spirit captivated the nation, and your victory sends a strong message about the strength and resilience of our wounded warriors,” he said. Panetta later called with a personal invitation to the Pentagon.
Here’s his winning moment again, as well as an interview on Good Morning America.