John Cena helped raise $1 million over the past month for a foundation assisting veterans … then matched the donation personally.
Today, on Veterans Day, the 16-time champ shared a video confirming that goal was reached.
The “Playing With Fire” star talked about his fundraising efforts with Sports Illustrated and how he wants to help lower the suicide rate of veterans, which continues to increase. “The numbers are alarming, and this is a very difficult conversation,” Cena told the publication. “We have messed up. It’s time to make things right. And there is no perfect answer, but I’m more than willing to try.”
“These are people I look up to and respect, and to learn that nearly 20 veterans a day are killing themselves, that means the system is lacking in some way. It’s not a flattering conversation, but it needs to be out in the open so we can address the issue,” he added.
The FitOps program helps veterans find stability in the fitness industry by getting them certified as personal trainers. Cena says rebuilding sense of community and purpose is something that resonates with him now that he’s no longer an active competitor in WWE.
“I can vaguely relate with my own experience away from WWE,” Cena told Sports Illustrated. “I’m so grateful to be doing some amazing things right now, but I still miss WWE and still ask myself, ‘Who am I?’ when I am not active with WWE. My identity was so closely tied to WWE for so long.”
“So, even if it’s apples to oranges, I can understand that sense of fraternity in the military. That’s why I am so passionate about FitOps. It’s a way to remind veterans that they are valuable, that they have a purpose. And they have that community. That is really important in our battle against that number 20, doing everything we can to bring it lower.”
As you may recall, John also recently donated $500,000 to first responders in California who were fighting the recent wildfires.
Watch today’s video announcement below.
— John Cena (@JohnCena) November 11, 2019