BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There are thousands of ways to help out good causes. Some volunteer time and others give money.
WJZ’s Mike Schuh found one group that brings their hard hats and chainsaws.
Most of the time, it’s quiet at the Baltimore National Cemetery.
There are stories everywhere you look. 35,000 all in orderly rows. Good man, good brother, good citizen.
Those visiting can stand under one of the many trees and remember in quiet.
But on Wednesday, there was the welcome sound of chainsaws, and the volunteer group “Saluting Branches.”
“We are currently in 32 states and 41 cemeteries,” said Steve Castrogiovanni, with Mead Tree & Turfcare.
As homeowners know, tree work is not cheap. On this day, these professionals are saving this cemetery 10 percent of its annual tree trimming budget.
“We’re very grateful,” said Mike Brophy, with the Baltimore National Cemtery. “If I understand correctly they’re going to be doing over $15,000 worth of work for us.”
At 74, JB Holdway continues to climb, saw, and volunteer.
It would be impossible to keep him away today.
“My brother was killed in Vietnam in ’67,” Holdway said. “He’s in Arlington.”
He’s a Navy vet, and says volunteering here is the least he can do for his fellow veterans.
“I see all these headstones, and I know the pain that the families went through for every one of those because we went through it,” he said.
20 volunteers here in Baltimore joined the 2,500 across the country shattering the quiet, so peace in the shade can return for many tomorrows to come.
This is the third year those arborists have volunteered in our nations’ 135 national cemeteries.