John Cena discusses veteran support at Bentonville Film Festival: ‘We're all flawed, facing those fears’

John Cena is once again speaking up for veteran support and cultivating a community where veterans and those who have served their country get the recognition and appreciation they deserve.

The WWE star spoke on Saturday at the Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas about his mission to enrich U.S. veterans through fitness and enrich society through veterans, by building a fitness coalition in Bentonville.

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“I want to bring together groups of people who have common bonds, so when they're in the same environment they can talk about difficult things and it's OK because they can relate to each other,” Cena explained about his partnership with the FitOps Foundation and Performix.

“P.T., your physical training, is part of a veteran's background. You know it like the back of the hand because they do it every single day. So even if I haven't served in a while, even if I haven't done P.T. in a while, it is like riding a bike.”

John Cena speaks at the FitOps panel at the 5th Annual Bentonville Film Festival on May 11, 2019 in Bentonville, Ark.

John Cena speaks at the FitOps panel at the 5th Annual Bentonville Film Festival on May 11, 2019 in Bentonville, Ark. (Getty Images for Bentonville Film Festival)

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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.”

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Cena, 42, who holds the Make-A-Wish Foundation title for the most wishes granted by a single individual, with over 600 wishes, also talked about his involvement in helping to make dreams come true for children fighting through critical illness and how the impact he feels granting wishes parallels his dedication toward FitOps.

“I know a lot of this stuff is serious but having been immersed in the culture, and I was grateful enough to be able to speak from a civilian side to the FitOps soldiers today. It’s awesome, it’s awesome,” Cena said.

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“I always talk about the joy that I get from Make-A-Wish experiences because the wish itself — I'm at the end of the line. I'm the wish, which is... I still can't process that. But when someone wishes for something and it comes true and you open the door and their face lights up — I don't live in anything but the smile in the hope and the happiness and it makes me feel good. This program does that.”