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USAF tech. sergeant, wife petition to keep their family together

An Air Force family is petitioning the service, members of congressCongress and the public to help keep their family together during their child’s time of need. 

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Hulter and his wife Jessica are asking through a Change.org petition to help keep their entire family together for Hulter's next PCS, one which has a medical facility that can provide proper care for their 10-year-old, ailing daughter, the website reads.

Hulter is scheduled to transfer for a three-year tour to a base that does not have adequate medical care for their daughter's Rett Syndrome, a rare, neurological disorder which has no cure.

"This will separate the family because the daughter's disability is so severe that the Exceptional Family Members Program has denied his family's ability to move with him for this permanent change of station," the Change.org petition titled, "Don't let the Air Force separate this family!", says. The Hulters also have an eight-year-old son.

The petition has over 97,000 signatures. Their goal is to get 150,000.

"The intent of the EFMP assignment policy is to utilize the airmen at locations based on current or projected manning requirements," said Paige Hughes, spokeswoman for the Air Force Personnel Center. "The specialized medical, educational, early intervention or related services are required to be available at the projected location," Hughes told Air Force Times in an email Friday.

Hughes could not speak specifically to the Hulter's case.

"The Total Force Service Center at AFPC, or the member's Military Personnel Section, can assist airmen at any time on the EFMP process and answer any questions they may have about the program," she added.

The family is also asking Reps. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., and Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., and Maryland Democratic Sens. (D-Maryland),Barbara Mikulski and  (D-Maryland), Sen. Ben Cardin, (D-Maryland), and Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., (R-Oklahoma) for their guidance and influence on the matter. 

The Hulter family lives near Baltimore, and Daniel Hulter, who's been in the Air Force 10 years, is stationed at Fort Meade, where there is access to regular care. The website does not say what his Air Force career entails, or what his next duty station would be; Bridenstine is a representative from Oklahoma's 1st congressional district, however, neither Tinker, Vance or Altus Air Force Bases fall under his district.

The "options are limited to withdrawing from career military service or living apart from his family, during which time he may miss the remaining years of his daughter's life," the website says.

Jessica Hulter did not immediately respond to Air Force Times' request for comment.

Oriana Pawlyk covers deployments, cyber, Guard/Reserve, uniforms, physical training, crime and operations in the Middle East, Europe and Pacific for Air Force Times. She was the Early Bird Brief editor in 2015. Email her at opawlyk@airforcetimes.com.

Follow her on Twitter @Oriana0214.

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