CNN has posted a profile piece on the legendary voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen where they discuss Transformers and the "responsibility" he feels for Optimus Prime. The full article is here. Below are a few highlights but really just better to read the full article.
"I was taken aback by the response and the sheer love that was in the audience," he said [at his first convention of Botcon 1997]. "It became quite evident that (voicing this character) was a responsibility that I wanted to fulfill. I had no idea he was so popular."
Cullen said he is personally touched by how strong the response has been. "I remember an officer in the Marine Corps who had just returned from Iraq, and he gave me his golden anchor emblem from his officer's hat," he said. "He presented that to me and said this is how much you mean to me. There are no words to describe it, but I was humbled. That sticks with me forever."
Cullen -- who said that police officers have made similar gestures toward him -- came up with the voice because of his brother Larry, an officer in the Marine Corps. "I saw a difference in him when he came home. There was a maturity and calmness and understanding, and a very strong source of confidence, respect, caring and dignity," he said.