JR Martinez

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Dancing With the Stars contestant and respected war veteran J.R. Martinez has been chosen as the grand marshal of the 123rd Tournament of Roses.

The crowd pleaser will lead the Jan. 2 procession of floats and toss the coin before the kickoff of the 98th Rose Bowl game.

So what's the parade theme this year?

The Iraq War vet, who was seriously burned when his Humvee hit a land mine during the war, is a perfect fit for this year's "Just Imagine..." parade theme, said the Tournament of Roses Association.

Martinez says he's grateful for the opportunity to share his message of "hope and possibility" and honor all fellow wounded military personnel with the big game's coin toss.

Tournament of Roses president Rick Jackson called Martinez the perfect pick because of his "courage and dedication" to all Americans facing challenges. The Dancing With the Stars fan favorite is one of six contestants still competing on the reality competition. 

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