More than a hundred military police officers about to deploy to Guantanamo Bay were refused service at Ryan's this afternoon.
The Alabama Army National Guard's 128th Military Police Company, out of Athens, is scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Saturday morning. According to Kelly Black, FRG Leader for the National Guard unit in Huntsville, and numerous soldiers, when the group went to the Ryan's on University Drive Friday afternoon they were turned away.
Black says Ryan's has a contract with the National Guard and typically allows soldiers to pay using their PO Number. Using that number spares the soldiers the out of pocket cost and the business or restaurant is reimbursed by the Army for that expense.
Black says the soldiers were told by Ryan's management that they would not accept that and instead kicked them out.
The Executive VP of Ryan's says the soldiers were turned away because they didn't have a valid payment method.
Update: Donald White, a manager at Ryan's says a representative with the group of soldiers did present a purchase order. However that order would require Ryan's management to seek reimbursement through a lengthy process. He says in the past, this method was accepted but that currently the policy in place requires a valid credit card at the time of purchase.