Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit

Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit

4.7 20
by J.R. Martinez
     
 

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An inspirational journey from tragedy to triumph

In 2003, nineteen-year-old Private J.R. Martinez was on a routine patrol when the Humvee he was driving hit an antitank mine in Iraq, resulting in severe injuries and burns on his face and more than one-third of his body. Out of that tragedy came an improbable journey of inspiration, motivation,…  See more details below

Overview

An inspirational journey from tragedy to triumph

In 2003, nineteen-year-old Private J.R. Martinez was on a routine patrol when the Humvee he was driving hit an antitank mine in Iraq, resulting in severe injuries and burns on his face and more than one-third of his body. Out of that tragedy came an improbable journey of inspiration, motivation, and dreams come true. In Full of Heart, Martinez shares his story in intimate detail, from his upbringing in the American South and his time in the Army to his recovery and the indomitable spirit that has made him an inspiration to countless fans.

J.R. Martinez always had a strong spirit. Raised in Bossier City, Louisiana, and then Hope, Arkansas, by a single mother from El Salvador, he was well known at school for his good looks and his smart mouth. At seventeen, showing an early determination and drive that would become one of his trademark qualities, J.R. convinced his mom to move to Dalton, Georgia, where he believed he would have a better chance of being recruited to play college football. His positive attitude earned him a spot on a competitive high school football squad, but when his college dreams collapsed, he turned to the U.S. Army. A few months later, he found himself serving in Iraq.

When J.R.’s humvee hit a mine and exploded—just one month into his deployment—he was immediately evacuated to a San Antonio medical center, where he spent the next thirty-four months in grueling recovery. Seeing his disfigured face for the first time after the accident threw him into a crushing period of confusion and anger. His spirits were low, until he was asked to speak to another young burn victim. J.R. realized how valuable and gratifying it was to share his experiences with other patients and listen to theirs. He’d found a calling.

His fellow soldiers, along with the local and then national media, soon latched onto J.R.’s spirit and strength. His resilience, optimism, and charm were also noted by Hollywood and scored him roles on All My Children and Dancing with the Stars, where he was the season thirteen champion.

Today, J.R. tours the country sharing his story and his lessons for overcoming challenges and embracing hope, lessons that abound in this book. Full of Heart is an unforgettable story of a man who never gave up on his dreams.

After being injured in Iraq, J.R. Martinez became a motivational speaker, actor, and winner of season thirteen of Dancing with the Stars. Martinez lives in Los Angeles

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
TV star Martinez's heartwarming memoir tells of his transformation from cocky, underprivileged kid to wounded soldier to household name. As a wet-behind-the-ears soldier in Iraq in 2003, he drove his Humvee over an anti-tank mine. In the blast, he writes, "My uniform had melted into my skin.... Parts of my swollen face were scorched black." He describes the long painful journey back to health, including plastic surgery for his disfigured face. And in 2007, "the world of make-believe came calling"-All My Children looking for an Iraqi war vet. Recently, he has become a father with a renewed sense of purpose. Part luck and part destiny, Martinez's story of triumph over tragedy is related with humility, humor, and love. Part of Martinez's appeal is that he doesn't take his fame and success for granted. Readers will find it impossible not to love him, with some grateful reflections on their own lives in between. 16 pages of b&w photos. Agent: Robert Guinsley, Sterling Lord Literistic.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401304874
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
248,465
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

After being injured in Iraq, J.R. Martinez became a motivational speaker, soap star, and winner of season thirteen of Dancing With the Stars. Martinez lives in LA.

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Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me realize that there but for the Grace of God go you or I. J.R. overcame overwhelming pain and adversity, yet he never lost the will and spirit to live the best life he possibly could after devastating injuries. His smile, even tho it may be crooked, inspires and cheers everyone who comes into contact him. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs an uplifting story, and if you saw him on Dancing with the Stars, you know why!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful.  Once I started, I couldn't put it down.  It is heartfelt, honest, and you completely identify with J.R. Martinez.  It is very well written.  Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible, compelling story. It is certainly inspirational. Thank you for your bravery, commitment, and service J.R. Martinez! You are a true American hero.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantasic story, very well written. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An inspirational life story that will touch others. Thank you, J.R. Martinez :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is something to talk about and also learn from, J.R's experience made me look like a cry baby. Just to show how GOD can transform your life in a second, today your happy and healthy and you never know what will happen tomorrow, so we have to give thanks for every second and every breath each day wish jr all the best and for the first time i had ever watched dancing with the stars was when he was competing give thanks and i will definitely recommend this book to someone and as for JR. you have a lot more to write about so keep on writing and tell your story hope i can meet you some day. taz
HowiesMom More than 1 year ago
Great read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yea, J.R.! If only all of us would go for his positive qualities!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never knew of JR's story before reading this book. I thought it was well written and his story is so brave and wonderful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!! What an awesome story of overcoming and how having a positive attitude can change your life forever!!! Thanks J.R. for sharing your life and story with us!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book very much. I was amazed at J.R.'s determination to beat the odds and he did most of it with a sense of humor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definintly a must read!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When J.R. Martinez first saw his face in the mirror after the accident, he felt like his life was over.  In Full of Heart, Martinez learns to live with these injuries and disfigurements. Martinez first receives his injuries while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.  He ran over a landmine while driving an ammo truck.  He later wakes up in the hospital where burns all over his body are treated. However, he still will never look the same (one of the operations even included an amputated ear) and is depressed at first because of it.  He does move on though, and goes on to great things. I enjoyed this book because of how Martinez manages to keep the book entertaining even when he speaks of his past.  I think young adults would enjoy this book because most of the humor in the book is targeted for adults, and children would not understand it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so touching and inspritional. I myself learned a lot from reading this book and a few lessons as well. I would recommend it to everyone who loves to be taken on an emotional rollacoster in a good way