Vets go into “rat-infested” Baltimore to clean up, end up stopping overdoses

Known by some politicians as a “rat-infested Hellhole,” the Maryland city of Baltimore has long had a bad rap for being a less than ideal place to live.

From drug use to crime and garbage, the city has an ever-climbing list of problems that seem to become more daunting with each passing day.

Fortunately, thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, the city is being cleaned up- and lives are being saved in the process.

Enter The Travelling Trash Men, a group of volunteers involved in Operation Baltimore Cleanup and part of a massive movement to clean up the streets, even if nobody pays or thanks them.

A coalition move between Gruntworks, All American Sanitation and Allstar Aggregates, Operation Cleanup is a non-partisan push to ensure that the TTMs leave Baltimore better than how they found it.

Clint Scherb, a Marine veteran and former Palm Beach County deputy from Florida, has been working with TTM during Operation Baltimore Cleanup. While performing his civic duties, he came across two men struggling as if they were overdosing on drugs.

Sure enough, both men soon found themselves incapacitated and -fortunately- within the reach of Scherb.

Knowing what was going on, Scherb enlisted the help of a local resident, who came to his aid with a dose of naloxone, an antidote of sorts for narcotic overdoses.

“If we had not come here and the locals hadn’t had [naloxone], they would have died,” Scherb said.

The incident had occurred within their first hour at work in Baltimore.

“You live a life of service and you just get devoted it to it, whatever it is,” Scherb said on Facebook.

Scherb, alongside with Army veteran and All American Sanitation CEO John Rourke, have been working tirelessly in a city that seems so far from America in so many ways.

“I didn’t know that a city in the United States could be this bad. I’ve seen cities in Iraq cleaner than here. Cities shouldn’t be this bad,” Rourke told the Baltimore Sun.

Despite the condition of the city, the most American of ideals -volunteerism- may make the defining difference.

“You have these empty lots that are full of trash,” Scherb said. The group plans to spread black-eyed Susan seeds on the empty lots and will “see what happens.”

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