Local News

November 14, 2008

Martinez' character on soap opera runs parallel to his life

J.R. Martinez never gets tired of telling his story.

Now, his inspirational story is being brought to a nationwide audience through the power of television.

Martinez, a 2002 Dalton High School graduate, is appearing on ABC’s long-running soap opera “All My Children” as a wounded Iraq veteran who returns home — a role that parallels his life.

“One thing I’ve learned is if I don’t tell my story I potentially miss out on the opportunity to inspire, motivate or help someone,” the 25-year-old Martinez said. “If my gift is a mouth and scars on my body, then I’m going to use it in a powerful way to make an impact.”

His life would change during an Army deployment to Iraq in February 2003. Two months later, the left front tire of a Humvee Martinez was driving hit a landmine. The explosion caused severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body and disfigured his face. Martinez endured 34 months in the hospital and 32 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. He now serves as a national spokesman for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, which promotes programs to help wounded military members.

The plight of Martinez’ on-screen character is similar.

The character, Brot Monroe, served in the Army and was injured in combat during a deployment to Iraq. While in the Army, he met and fell in love with Lt. Taylor Thompson (actress Beth Ehlers). Monroe lets Taylor believe he’s died because he doesn’t want to burden her with his injuries. Months pass. After several surgeries, Monroe returns to find his fiancee grieving her loss, unaware he is still alive.

Martinez draws on his experiences to give the character depth. He, too, had a difficult time re-entering everyday life, especially the dating world. He knew that women enjoyed his personality and his company, but Martinez felt he was lacking “that initial something that attracts you to someone.” He’s learned to use what he still has: his smile and his eyes.

Text Only
Local News
  • runner thompson.jpg Taking the race back

    Dean Thompson didn’t go 100 yards in his 26.2 miles through the streets of Boston without seeing people on the side of the road cheering for him.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobby Lee Dixon mg.jpg Officials: Man jailed for driving toward officer

    A Chatsworth man who officials said accelerated a vehicle toward a law enforcement officer who was approaching on foot remains in the Murray County jail without bond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Charges undetermined following standoff (Updated 5:45 p.m.)

    Police have yet to decide whether to press criminal charges against a man they say was armed and intoxicated while barricading himself in his office at a carpet mill in downtown Dalton Tuesday evening.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Man charged for using fraudulent Social Security card

    A man is being held in the Whitfield County Jail on multiple charges for using a fraudulent Social Security card with someone else’s Social Security number to land a job at a rug manufacturer in Dalton and for providing false information to receive workers’ compensation benefits, according to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division.

    April 23, 2014

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Police: Four-hour standoff ends with peaceful surrender

    A man who was armed with at least one firearm and believed to be under the influence of alcohol surrendered to police Tuesday night after barricading himself for four hours inside a carpet mill in downtown Dalton, officials said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray deputy bit by drug dog while taking selfie

    A Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy is recovering after one of the department’s drug dogs bit him in the face on Monday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Local wrestler ‘made everybody smile’

    Rash Renegade got his wrestling nickname after a motorcycle wreck several years ago left him with a bad case of road burn.

    April 23, 2014

  • Pinwheels in murray '14 1 mlh.jpg Awareness can prevent child abuse

    Three hundred forty-six pinwheels dotted the Murray County Courthouse lawn on Tuesday, representing 346 reported cases of child abuse in the county last year.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray library, regional system still far apart

    Murray County officials say they will announce soon if they will follow through with their plan to take the Chatsworth-Murray Library out of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fire believed to have started outside home

    Investigators are still working to learn what sparked a fire that nearly destroyed a house at 602 Top St. in Dalton on Monday.

    April 22, 2014