102-year-old veteran compares vaccine drive to WWII service


Veterans salute the American Flag while the National Anthem plays during the annual Veterans Day Service that was held at the VFW Post 1034, in Brattleboro, Vt., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.  (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) — A 102-year-old Army veteran is comparing his World War II service to the campaign to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19 in a public service announcement released by officials in New York’s Ulster County.

“When our nation needed us and Uncle Sam came calling, we answered. We fought the Nazis and stormed the beaches of Normandy,” veteran Bill Swetow says in the video released Saturday by County Executive Pat Ryan. He adds, “And over 75 years later, we are at another moment where we need every American to do their part.”

The Daily Freeman of Kingston reports that Swetow, who lives in New Paltz in the Hudson Valley, joined the Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and went on to serve as a cryptographer and a statistical control officer.

Swetow says in the minute-long PSA, “We are not asking you to fire a gun, dig a trench, or go to a foreign land. But we are asking you to join the fight, the fight against COVID-19. And we want you to get vaccinated.”

The ad will air on local TV and radio stations as well as social media sites.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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