Chelsea Manning to stay on active duty, receive health care after prison release

Pvt. Chelsea Manning is scheduled to leave military prison on Wednesday, and USA Today reports she will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier eligible for health care benefits upon her release.

Manning -- who was convicted in 2010 for leaking national security secrets -- is leaving military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas six years before her initial parole eligibility. Manning (then known as Bradley Manning) began her transition from male to female -- and began receiving hormone treatment while in prison.

Manning was originally sentenced to 35 years for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, but President Obama commuted her sentence as one of his final acts while in office.

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Army spokesman David Foster commented on Manning's status as a soldier, saying she will continue to receive health care and have access to military exchanges and commissaries.

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

The ACLU recently released a statement on Manning's behalf.

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea," Manning said. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world."

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