Fast Facts

  • As a high-school football player, he hoped to one day play professionally, but he suffered a sports injury in his senior year.
  • Enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2002; in January 2003, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
  • After being severely injured in Iraq and suffering burns over 40 percent of his body, claimed to see a vision of his sister Anabel, who had died when he was a child.
  • Spent 34 months in the hospital and underwent 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.
  • Discovered a talent for motivational speaking by talking with other burn victims during his recovery. 
  • Joined the cast of the soap opera All My Children in 2008.
  • Winner of season 13 of Dancing with the Stars with partner Karina Smirnoff.


  • Lauryn Anabelle — Daughter
  • Maria Zavala — Mother
  • Diana Gonzalez-Jones — Ex-significant Other
  • Anabel — Sister


  • Birth Name: Jose Rene Martinez
  • Birth Place: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
  • Profession: Actor, Motivational speaker

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