Hospital Puts Army Veteran On Leave For ‘God Bless America’ Email Signature

Boots HawksPat Dollard

STOCKTON, Calif. (KCRA) —A Dameron Hospital employee who is also a veteran said he was asked last week to remove his email signature that read, in part, “God Bless America.”

Boots Hawks served the United States for 20 years in the Army, he said Thursday, adding that he has been a good employee at Dameron Hospital for 10 years.   

But when Hawks wanted to seek legal counsel about a request to remove the words “God Bless America” from his professional email signature, he was met with resistance, he said.

Still, Hawks said he complied.

“I removed the signature before I sent another email,” Hawks told KCRA 3.

But on the Friday before Veterans Day, he said he was placed on administrative leave for insubordination — all because of the signature, which had contained the “God Bless America” phrase for more than a year before the hospital brought up the issue.

“I was shocked,” Hawks said. “I think Dameron Hospital provides fantastic care to people. And I hate to see bad publicity, and I don’t mean for this to be bad publicity. I just see that we need to have justice done.”

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