Talking with TV show host Ellen DeGeneres, the grappler said he would match all donations up to $1 million until Veterans Day to the FitOps Foundation to help veterans returning from combat and keep them from committing suicide.
FitOps, sponsored through Performix, the brand known for premium sports nutrition products, helps veterans find new purpose as personal trainers.
It’s a non-profit organization dedicated to helping former active duty members apply the skills they learned in the military in civilian life.
FitOps was founded by Matt Hesse, the CEO of Performix and an Army veteran.
“Today, there is not adequate infrastructure or services to help veterans transition to civilian life from military service,” Hesse told Fox News.
“The donations we raise will make an enormous difference – with it, we will be able to reach more veterans – offering training, education, counseling, support and mentorship,” added Hesse. “Veterans exiting service face unbelievable challenges that most of the civilian world doesn’t understand: a loss of sense of purpose and mission, daily drive, routine and being part of a larger mission and team. This is what we aim to replace through the FitOps program.”
Hesse opened Performix House in New York City in February 2018. It’s an elite fitness gym that caters to military and professional athletes.
Hesse added: “The greatest joy and satisfaction in my career has come from playing a part in helping veterans find purpose through fitness, and my goal is to build on this so we never have to turn a veteran away. I’m so grateful to John, not just for his donation, but for his incredible passion and support. Together, our goal is to take the suicide rate in the veteran community from 20 a day to 0.”
This past summer, Cena spoke about the need of cultivating a community where veterans and those who have served their country get the recognition and appreciation they deserve.
In a panel speech, the "Blockers" actor explained that happiness for a man isn’t always about the machismo element associated with being an “alpha-male,” but the connection he may have to a group of people with a common goal.
“It's a camaraderie that shows the alpha-male, [that] being the alpha-male isn't being a man. Being a man is being comfortable with who you are, looking at that person in the mirror being happy,” said Cena. “Understand that we're all flawed, facing those mistakes and those fears, and having a support system to back you up when you need help. Reach out and say ‘I don't know if I can do this alone.’ — Have people grab that hand, shake it and hold it.”