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Actor, soldier J.R. Martinez announced festival firefighters' marshal

The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival has announced actor and motivational speaker J.R. Martinez will be this year's firefighters' marshal.

Martinez, who with dance partner Karina Smirnoff won season 13 of "Dancing with the Stars" on ABC, became an actor following a deployment to Iraq with the U.S. Army, according to a festival news release. Injured in a fire after his Humvee hit a roadside bomb, Martinez spent 34 months recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and has undergone 33 surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery.

Martinez guest starred on Lifetime's "Army Wives" as a physical therapist and portrayed a combat veteran injured in Iraq on "All My Children." What started as a three-month story arc developed into a three-year role, the release said.

Currently he stars as Alfonso Rivera, a Los Angeles paramedic/firefighter and member of the Air Force Pararescue Team, on "SAF3," which premiered in September 2013.

As firefighters' marshal of the festival next month, he will lead the Friday night Firefighters' Parade on May 2 and ride on a float in Saturday afternoon Grand Feature Parade on May 3.

For more information, visit www.thebloom.com.


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