Chelsea Manning will return to active duty, receive health care

U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning will still be an active duty soldier when she’s released from prison on Wednesday.

The transgender whistleblower will not be paid, but will be eligible for health care, Army spokesman Dave Foster told USA Today.

“Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review,” said Foster.

In August 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years for leaking nearly a million classified or sensitive documents to Wikileaks. When she entered prison, she was Bradley Manning. A day after sentencing, Bradley made an announcement on the Today show.

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in a statement read during the show. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way I have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.”

Manning sued the federal government for access to hormone treatment, and eventually received therapy while incarcerated. In the waning days of his administration, President Obama commuted her sentence.

“For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea,” Manning said in a statement from the ACLU last week. “I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world.”

Last year, Manning was told she was eligible for gender reassignment surgery. If the appeal for her conviction is denied, and she’s dishonorably discharged, she would lose health care benefits.

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