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
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local congressmen agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014