Iraq War veteran named Rose Parade grand marshal

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PASADENA, CALIF. (AP) - The grand marshal for Pasadena’s 123rd Tournament of Roses is a certain crowd pleaser.

Leading the Jan. 2 procession of floats will be J.R. Martinez, the “Dancing With the Stars” contestant, “All My Children” daytime soap opera star and Iraq War veteran seriously burned when his Humvee hit a land mine,

He will also toss the coin before kickoff of the 98th Rose Bowl Game in honor of all wounded military personnel.

The Tournament of Roses Association announcement Tuesday says Martinez is a perfect fit for the “Just Imagine …” parade theme.

Martinez says he’s grateful for the opportunity to share his message of hope and possibility.

Tournament President Rick Jackson says Martinez is an inspiration because of his courage and dedication to helping all Americans facing challenges.

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