Mark "Shorty" Thorn served about five years in the Australian military before he was discharged in 1992.
On Saturday he was raising awareness for veteran suicide and mental health with Grunts Australia supported by RSL Inverell, beginning with a car and motorcycle ride and ending with an event at the Inverell Showgrounds on Saturday.
Raffles, music, train rides for the children, coffee vans and BBQ were ready for anyone looking for some weekend fun after the motorcade roared into the showgrounds about 2:30pm.
The bikers and drivers left from the Inverell War Memorial about 11:15am and the Rally Around the Region went via Copeton Dam to Bingara, Warialda, Dilungra and back to Inverell, supporting small businesses and communities in villages and towns along the way.
Mr Thorn said the objectives of the event are two-fold. Firstly, to provide camaraderie for veterans regardless of rank attained while serving.
"So we are reaching out to the broader ex-defence force community to help rebuild those social circles that ADF members thrived in while serving," Mr Thorn said.
"And to create new groups with other like-minded people regardless of the branch of the ADF served in, length of service, deployed or not.
"We all have that common bond of having pulled on a uniform of the ADF in service of our country."
The second objective of the event was to raise awareness in the broader Australian community about some of the issues and difficulties ex-service members face when integrating back into civilian life.
On November 19, there will also be a BBQ on the deck of the RSM Club in Inverell.
The Royal Commission into Veteran Suicide is currently conducting hearings in Wagga Wagga from November 28 to December 2.
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