WW II veteran gets role in Ulster’s vaccination efforts


KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced the release of a new COVID-19 vaccine Public Service Announcement (PSA ) featuring 102-year-old WWII Army Veteran Bill Swetow.  The video PSA was released on Saturday and can be watched here. The PSA is part of Ryan’s continued effort to get residents vaccinated safely and equitably.

Swetow offers a first-of-its-kind PSA that will air on local television, radio, and social media channels.

“Getting vaccinated is our ticket to staying safe and fully reopening our community,” Ryan said. “As a Veteran, and as County Executive, I want to thank Mr. Swetow for his service during WWII and his continued service in encouraging residents to get vaccinated.”

Swetow, who joined the Army after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, decoded messages as a cryptographer and then became a statistical control officer during WWII.

Bill Swetow

Now a resident of Woodland Pond Senior Living Community in New Paltz, Swetow states in the ad, “When our nation needed us and Uncle Sam came calling, we answered! We fought the Nazis and stormed the beaches of Normandy. And over 75 years later, we are at another moment where we need every American to do their part.” Swetow continued, saying, “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 PSA ends with Swetow saying that “getting vaccinated is safe, accessible, and your duty”.

Through Ulster County’s continued efforts to make the vaccine accessible to all, the county has held pop-up vaccination clinics in churches, community centers, and recently teamed up with Stewart’s Shops to offer vaccines with free ice cream and coffee. 59.3% of Ulster County residents have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine making Ulster County one of the highest vaccinated counties in the region. Individuals looking to get the COVID-19 vaccine should visit VaccinateUlster.com for more information.

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