In his new memoir, Full of Heart, war hero and former Dancing with the Stars champ J.R. Martinez details his miraculous recovery from severe burns, using words and, for the first time, graphic pictures.
"Before I was injured, I was called a pretty boy," says Martinez, who was left disfigured by an explosion
that burned over 34 percent of his body. The accident occurred four months after being deployed in Iraq, when Martinez's vehicle ran over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
"What woman would be comfortable grabbing my face and kissing my scars?" Martinez remembers asking himself. "I would come home after being out with my friends and I would literally -- I'm not embarrassed to say this as a guy -- I would cry."
In 2008, J.R. Martinez met his current girlfriend Diana Gonzalez-Jones. The two welcomed a daughter
, Lauryn Anabelle Martinez, on May 2.
"That explosion essentially pushed me out of the body that I was in, out of the mindset that I was in, into a new life," says Martinez. "And it was up to me to be able to make that choice in my life."
Watch the video for more. Full of Heart is in stores now.