Memorial Day means a lot for motivational speaker, actor, Army veteran and "Dancing with the Stars" champ J.R. Martinez. "I easily could have been one of those service members that we're honoring and remembering," he said, noting that it's been 10 years since his accident -- when his humvee hit an IED and burns from the explosion covered 34 percent of his body.
Martinez was in D.C. on Monday to participate in the National Memorial Day Parade, alongside other military-friendly folks, including actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, singers Trace Adkins and Taylor Hicks, and Jacqueline and Robert Griffin Jr., who were accompanied by their son, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
"I have two parents in the military, but today is not about that -- it's about honoring the people who died for us to live the way we live today," the Redskins Rookie of the Year told us during a brief chat.
Martinez talked to the crowd about second chances. "The fact that I got a second chance is something that comes with great responsibility," he said. While, at the same time, he's hoping Hollywood will give him another chance. The former "All My Children" actor is currently pursuing new roles and hopes to write scripts as well. "[I'm] trying to get back into the entertainment industry and find opportunities," he told Yeas & Nays. "So right now, there are a couple of projects that are in the works."
If that doesn't work out, with the reception he received in Washington, there's always politics. "You never know," he laughed. "But right now, I've got to learn a lot more before I decide to get into that, because they would tear my ass apart."