'Dancing With the Stars' Champion J.R. Martinez Releases Memoir

J.R. Martinez's new memoir details journey from Iraq war to the dance floor.
3:00 | 11/06/12

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Transcript for 'Dancing With the Stars' Champion J.R. Martinez Releases Memoir
Test Tex We're back, now, with one of our favorite champs from "dancing with the stars," j.R. Martinez. He has a new memoir out. It's called "full of heart." It's great to have you here with us this morning. What moves you to tell your story? I learned that sharing my story helps a lot of people. I wanted to give more of the story to my audience. People see me smile and see me successful, and doing great things with my life. I want them to see the real journey. The full journey outside of my injury in iraq. It was about the pain and struggle and the obstacles that I faced in the times that i wanted to give up. But I found ways to believe and never quit. Stay positive and be where I am today. The story begins with that woman right over there. Your mom. You say it's as much her story as it is yours. It is. I think what's important is what she's been through in her life. And I saw that growing up, as her son. As a single mother, raising me to be the man that I am today, she always found ways to smile. You know? And that, to me, that's where i get my smile from. You can tell. Yes. You know, it -- she always smiles. And she taught me a lot about scars on the inside. You know, this book is important to be able to highlight her story, as well. But you talk about the first time you saw the scars on the outside. The first time you actually saw your face after the bombing in iraq. You said you looked like freddy krueger. Yeah. That's a term that I use because growing up as a kid, that's kind of what I saw, the character that I saw. The character I was afraid of. And I thought to myself, now, kids will see me this way. Adults will see me this way. I can't go to a convenient store and pick up a basic necessity, without dealing with stares. Without answering the questions of what happened to me. And I felt like my life was over. But that wasn't your lowest point. It wasn't. Honestly, my lowest point was a few years after that. Once I got out of the hospital, trying to become this motivational speaker. Trying to figure out the path, my journey. There was a lot of anger. You know, there was a lot of frustration. A lot of things that I needed to work through. There were a lot of points when I thought, I'm going to give up. What am I going to do with my life? It's a true crossroads. Seeing my face and my body for the first time was difficult. Can you pinpoint a moment when it turned around and you started to back up? Honestly, it -- I would say probably the biggest moment that really kind of changed me and kind of led me to be where I am today, is when I got an e-mail from a friend of mine to audition for the role on "all my children." I was kind of in a better place. And I was starting to figure things out. There's a lot of things I had to learn. When I got that e-mail to audition for the role, it kind of gave me a new sense of rejuvenation. And I thought to myself, okay. This is what I'm supposed to be doing. When I got the role, it just really gave me that purpose and gave me the drive and the work that I needed. It is clear you're full of life right now. The book is called "full of heart." Thank you for coming in.

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