'Dancing With the Stars' contestant, Iraq war vet to be Rose Parade grand marshal

J.R. Martinez -- a former soldier, actor and current contestant on “Dancing With the Stars” -- was named the grand marshal today for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade on Jan. 2.

Martinez, who is current cover story for “People” magazine, underwent 33 surgeries after his Humvee triggered a land mine in Iraq in 2003 and he suffered burns over much of his body.

Tournament of Roses Assn. President Rick Jackson announced Martinez on the front lawn of the Tournamnet House today, setting off a pop of red, white and blue confetti stars.

“To be able to participate in such an iconic American tradition is such an honor for me,” Martinez said.

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-- Kelly Corrigan, Times Community News

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