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Congrats to Iraq War Veteran and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant J.R. Martinez who will be riding down Colorado Boulevard and tossing the Rose Bowl Coin on January 2, 2012 as the Grand Marshal for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Martinez will serve in honor of all wounded servicemen and servicewomen. The tournament theme this year is “Just Imagine…”, which fits well with Martinez’ experience on DWTS. He is definitely encouraging people to reach higher and try harder.

“When I was first asked to be Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses festivities by President Jackson, I was speechless,” said Martinez. “To be able to participate in this iconic American tradition on New Year’s Day is something I could only imagine. I believe everything happens for a reason and I’m grateful the events of my life have provided me with the opportunity to share my message of hope and possibility on New Year’s Day.”

“J.R. Martinez is an inspiration to us all and a natural fit for our theme ‘Just Imagine…,’” said Rick Jackson, president of the Tournament of Roses. “J.R. is not only a courageous and engaging role model for us all but has dedicated himself to helping not only servicemen and servicewomen, but all Americans facing challenges. His outlook on life is admirable and we couldn’t be happier to have the chance to celebrate the New Year with him as we entertain the millions of fans around the world during the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.”