WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has invited soldier-turned-actor J.R. Martinez, who just won the most recent "Dancing with the Stars" competition, to the Pentagon for meeting.
A Pentagon spokesman says Panetta called Martinez on Friday and told the dancing champion that he demonstrated the strength and resilience of wounded veterans.
Capt. John Kirby says Martinez credited his military training for his performance during the competition broadcast on ABC.
Kirby says details about Panetta’s meeting with Martinez are being work out.
The 28-year-old Martinez was severely burned over more than 40 percent of his body when the Humvee he was driving for the U.S. Army struck a land mine in 2003.