The story behind John Cena's salute

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December 16, 2011

Every night before he enters the ring, John Cena, clad in camouflage shorts, stands at attention and salutes as though a commanding officer were standing in front of him barking orders. Most think that Cena is simply acknowledging his devoted fans, which the leader of the Cenation will not deny.

“It’s a salute of loyalty to those that stand by me, that have been doing it for years,” Cena explained to WWE.com.

However, for the 10-time WWE Champion, there is also a much deeper meaning behind his gestures.

“Every night when I do that salute, it’s also a sign of respect to the men and women that don the uniform of the Armed Forces,” he declared.

John Cena holds the Armed Forces in the highest esteem and has implemented many aspects of the military way into his attitude. It goes beyond camo shorts and a salute.

“When it came my time to slowly redefine who I was from wrestler to hip hop thug, to the next step in my career, I basically took the ideologies of discipline from the Armed Forces,” Cena said. “I took honor, code and country and came up with hustle, loyalty and respect. I think exactly like they do.”

The leader of the Cenation also has one very personal ritual related to the Armed Forces. Those who pay close attention to Cena right before a match begins will see him remove a pair of dog tags from around his neck and kiss them before handing them to the referee or ringside attendant for safe keeping. But the Superstar prefers to keep the meaning behind the tags to himself.

“That’s secret information that I’ve told a few Make-A-Wish families and those people who need to know. [WWE.com] doesn’t need to know,” Cena lightheartedly explained.

As evidenced by his passionate speech at Fort Bragg during Tribute to the Troops, John Cena is extremely reverent toward the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and will continue to do whatever he can to honor their ultimate sacrifice.

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