Veteran thrilled at golden ticket to Gallipoli
"I'VE got a golden ticket".
That was the excited reaction of war veteran Scott Seccombe after finding out he was going to Gallipoli for the dawn service to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first Anzac landing in the First World War on the fateful Turkish shores.
Known for the past 13 years on the Coffs Coast as the parade marshall of the Coffs Harbour RSL's Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services, Scott said he could not wait to be at Anzac Cove for the momentous occasion.
"It is literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for an ex-serviceman," Scott said.
"To be able to go there and just stand and take it all in will be absolutely amazing."
As an indication of how lucky Scott has been, there are only 10,000 tickets for the April 25 ceremony - and 20% of those are for New Zealanders.
Scott said he had one friend in particular he had to thank for his good fortune.
"One of my best mates basically rang me and he asked me, 'what are you doing on Anzac Day?'" he said.
"I said I was probably going to Sydney, but he said, "we're going to Gallipoli.
"I thought he was joking, but sure enough, here we are and we've got the golden ticket and we're off to Gallipoli."
'Sarj' Seccombe, who will fly to Istanbul on April 21, said he had been to a few places of military significance, but this would be his first visit to the birthplace of the Anzac legend.
"I've been to the D-Day beaches, I laid a wreath in 1997 at the war graves at Tidworth when I was over there with a British unit, but this is the pinnacle."
"When you travel, it's one of the places that's on your bucket list."
Once at Gallipoli a full day of activities is planned, but there is one moment this proud veteran is looking forward to more than any other.
"The one thing that I think will stay in my mind is going to be that Last Post at the dawn service."
"That brings everyone undone normally when we're here.
"That and the national anthem. When they play the Australian national anthem I always have a tear in my eye."