CRESCENT, Okla. —
But on Wednesday night -- before Manning made public his gender change -- his supporters were more concerned about his identity as a soldier acting in good conscience.
"I want people to understand that Bradley Manning is not a traitor," said Rena Guay, executive director of the Oklahoma Center of Conscience of Oklahoma City, which is a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network. The group has helped pay for Manning's legal expenses, she said, and it will work on his legal appeal.
"He showed a lot of backbone in what he did," said Guay. "It was an incredibly brave thing for him to do."
Manning will be eligible for parole in about 10 years. His attorneys are working on a pardon application to President Barack Obama.
Details for this story were provided by The Edmond (Okla.) Sun and NBC News.