J.R. Martinez, the actor and reigning champion of 'Dancing With the Stars,' will speak to a youth event organized by two of the largest U.S. Christian denominations.
Martinez will be the keynote speaker at the National Youth Event taking place July 10-13 on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., UCC News reported Tuesday.
The event is being organized by the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
"Mr. Martinez accepted our invitation because he was likewise inspired by our core values as a denomination and by the mission and commitment of NYE to nurture youth who are the future right now," said Waltrina Middleton, UCC minister for youth advocacy and leadership formation.
Martinez, a former marine who suffered nearly burns over 40 percent of his body after the Humvee he was riding in struck a landmine, is also a motivational speaker, telling companies, and organizations about his experiences since that incident.
He spent nearly a year and a half in recovery and underwent 33 surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. He currently plays a combat veteran on soap opera "All My Children."
The NYE, set to take place from July 10-13, is billed as an opportunity for more than 3000 youths to experience "fun, faith and fellowship" while engaging in activities to promote social and human justice