>Chelsea Manning, the transgender Army private who passed a trove of sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, walked out of the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on Wednesday morning after serving an abbreviated sentence in connection with one of the most notorious leaks of classified documents in U.S. history. >Manning’s 35-year sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama, who concluded that seven years in federal custody was enough for her crimes. She now heads to Maryland, according to supporters who set up an online fundraising site that collected more than $150,000 for housing and other essentials as she re-enters society. >Wednesday morning, Manning – who wrote columns and posted to Twitter with the help of supporters while in prison – posted a photo on her social media accounts of two feet in black Converse shoes. “First steps of freedom!!” she wrote on her social media accounts. >Manning, who was previously known as Bradley Manning, also issued a statement through the American Civil Liberties Union, which helped her get treatment for gender dysphoria while in prison. Manning’s representatives have declined interview requests. >“After another anxious four months of waiting, the day has finally arrived. I am looking forward to so much!” Manning said. “Whatever is ahead of me is far more important than the past. I’m figuring things out right now – which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me.” >Army officials said Manning will remain on active duty — but will be on leave — as she pursues an appeal of her court-martial conviction, according to Army officials. That means she will not be paid but will be eligible for benefits, including health care, during that time.