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The write stuff

image Dan Zulli, USAF (Ret.)

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Dan Zulli is the new staff editor/writer for Construction News. It only took a 30-year career in the Air Force to get him there.






    “Writing has always been in my blood,” he said. “It’s really fun to finally realize this passion after such a long and varied journey.”
    Originally from Oak Ridge, TN, Zulli’s family moved to the Springfield, MA, area when he was 10. When it came time for college, he wanted to go into commercial art. “My mother told me to go into journalism,” he said. “I should have listened to her. I’m a better writer than I am artist.”
    After 3 years at Springfield College (where basketball was invented), being an art major didn’t work out. Since Zulli’s dad had been in the Air Force, that seemed like a viable option to finding his place in life, at least for the next 4 years.
    “I wanted to get into a graphics-related field, but ended up instead as security policeman, guarding planes on the flight line.”
    “After my first 4 years as a cop,” Zulli explained, “I cross-trained into audio-visual and extended 2 years. During this time, I decided to separate and go into the ministry and go back in as a chaplain.”
    Zulli and new wife Cindy moved to Dallas to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. During the summers, he was a chaplain candidate, then was commissioned as a reserve chaplain after graduation.
    Now with two little girls, they moved to southwest Oklahoma to pastor a “very country church” while being a reserve chaplain at Altus Air Force Base.
    After 3 years there, Zulli applied to go back on active duty and an ascensions board selected him in 1993 to come back on. Twenty-three and one half years later, the journey ended in July 2017 back where it all started at Lackland Air Force Base, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
    During his Air Force career, writing had been a staple of Zulli’s everyday life.
    “People’s careers depend upon how well we write their annual appraisals. We have to be able to write well and fast,” he said.
    Zulli also writes on the side, doing a complete autobiography project for his kids, and even writing historical fiction novels.
    “My first book should be out this summer,” he said, “and the sequel about next year. The first one is already available on the Apple iBooks website.”
    Now he writes for Construction News, coming full circle from what his mother told him years ago.
    “When people say God works in mysterious ways,” Zulli said, “I’m Exhibit A. But it’s been a fun, wild ride and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
    Whether guarding airplanes, preaching sermons, or writing news articles, Dan Zulli has always had the “write stuff.” -cmw

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Carol Wiatrek meditor@constructionnews.net