By Alicia Lacy
Fort Hood Herald
The weather was cold and rain was pouring down outside, but it was warm with excitement inside Abrams Physical Fitness Center as hundreds filed into the gym to see Ron "Tater Salad" White perform.
For his second visit at Fort Hood, the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking comedian delivered his same no-holds-barred comedic style during a free show Thursday night.
While anticipation grew minutes before the start of the show, many fans of White said they were excited to see him perform live since their only exposure was through his performances during the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour."
Spc. Elliott Gratham, of the Florida National Guard's 1st Battalion, 153rd Cavalry Regiment, 53rd Brigade Combat Team, said he saw White on television, but was excited to see his stand-up.
"He doesn't care, and he's not afraid to talk about anything," Gratham said.
The brigade is mobilized at North Fort Hood for two months of pre-deployment training and some soldiers were taken to Abrams for the show.
"There wasn't a whole lot of people who got to go," Gratham said. "It was nice to get picked."
As the show began, the lights in the gym cut off in succession while White's past stand-up routines blared over speakers.
A red light lit the stage, and comedian Todd Sawyer walked out from behind the curtains to open the show before White took the stage.
In true Tater Salad-style, White delivered material from his Behavioral Problems tour, covering topics from current events to sex and homosexuality to his own run-in with the law.
In one segment, he poked fun at Kansans, calling them potatoes and "ugly quitters."
The comedian then shifted to a subject important to many at Fort Hood: wounded soldiers.
He said they were "a byproduct of this war that no one likes to talk about."
White, a Navy veteran, said he visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center while filming the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" in Washington, D.C. The military should have the best health care available for the rest of their lives for their service and sacrifice, he added.
White has also visited installations in Germany as part of a USO tour.
Following White's performance, Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commander, presented a plaque to Sawyer and a Phantom Warrior jacket to White.
Pfc. Jarred Price, another 1st Battalion, 153rd Cavalry soldier, said he particularly liked White's behavior on stage with his trademark glass of scotch.
He said White's performance at the post was "good for morale."
Contact Alicia Lacy at email@example.com or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHfeatures.