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Manning wants to get married and have a family, attorney says

Courtesy NBC News

Eligible for parole in seven years after being sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in a military prison, Chelsea Manning dreams of one day returning to school and starting a family.

The soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, who provided an exclusive statement to TODAY Thursdayindicating that she wants to live as a woman named Chelsea, has begun serving her sentence inside Fort Leavenworth's disciplinary barracks. Manning was convicted on 20 counts ranging from espionage to theft for leaking more than 700,000 classified documents to the website WikiLeaks while serving in Iraq in 2010. Manning is already looking toward the future.

"She wants to get a degree,'' Manning's attorney, David Coombs, told TODAY Friday. "She wants to hopefully find somebody that she loves. Get married. Perhaps have a family."

Manning has requested hormone therapy while at Fort Leavenworth, but the Army said in a statement that it does not provide that treatment or sex-reassignment surgery. Manning has not requested surgery.

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Within hours of Thursday's announcement about Manning's desire to live as a woman, the phrase "Chelsea Manning" was trending on Twitter worldwide. Reaction ranged from outrage to sympathy.

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