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J.R. Martinez Delivers Keynote Address to West Coast University Graduates
Date:5/26/2013

Irvine, CA (PRWEB) May 26, 2013

J.R. Martinez, Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and 2011 Winner of Dancing with the Stars, delivered the keynote address at the 2013 Commencement Ceremony of West Coast University.

In March of 2003, J.R. was deployed to Iraq, and on April 5, less than a month into his deployment, he was driving a Humvee in Karbala when his left front tire hit a roadside bomb. The three other soldiers were ejected from the burning vehicle, but he was trapped inside and suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to 34 percent of his body.

J.R. spent 34 months in recovery surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, Texas, and underwent 33 different surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. During recovery, a nurse asked him to speak to a burn patient, who had just seen his body for the first time and had become withdrawn. After a 45-minute visit, the patient opened the curtain letting light in his room and his heart. J.R. then understood the impact he had on this patient and decided to use his experience to help others. He continued to visit patients sharing his story and listening to theirs. While J.R.'s experience was certainly life-changing, amazingly, he claims this is actually a change for the better. “I discovered it is what is inside a person that matters most and I wouldn’t change anything…absolutely anything!" states J.R. "I do believe everything happens for a reason, and I'm extremely grateful for that day because it led me into this life!"

Mr. Martinez has become a highly sought after motivational speaker and he travels the country spreading his message of resilience and optimism. He devotes himself to showing others the true value of making the most of every situation. His commencement address to more than 650 graduating nurses, dental hygienists, and health care management scholars focused on the medical care he receive
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