Chelsea Manning to be on active duty when released from Leavenworth

WASHINGTON — Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier imprisoned for releasing classified military information, is expected to be released from a military prison Wednesday after serving seven years of her 35-year sentence.

Former President Barack Obama granted Manning, a former military analyst, clemency after she was convicted in 2013 of giving 700,000 secret military and State Department documents and battlefield videos to Wikileaks.

Manning, who changed her name from Bradley to Chelsea, will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier, who is eligible for health care and other benefits after her release from Fort Leavenworth, Kanasas, USA Today reports.

“For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea. I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world,” the Oklahoma native wrote last week.

“Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine. Now, freedom is something that I will again experience with friends and loved ones after nearly seven years of bars and cement, of periods of solitary confinement, and of my health care and autonomy restricted, including through routinely forced haircuts.”

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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