Panetta congratulates Iraq vet for winning 'Dancing'

Karina Smirnoff, left, and J.R. Martinez winners of the "Dancing with the Stars" celebrity dance competition, appear on "Good Morning America" in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

November 28, 2011 2:22:54 AM PST
Winning `Dancing With the Stars' has landed J.R. Martinez an invitation to the Pentagon.

A military spokesman says Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Martinez today to congratulate him on winning the competition. Captain John Kirby says plans are now in the works for Martinez to visit the Defense Department soon.

Martinez is an Iraq war veteran who was badly burned when a land mine exploded under the Humvee he was driving.

Kirby says Panetta called Martinez "a testament to the strength and the resilience of our wounded warriors."