AWOL Transgender Woman Discharged From Marines After 31 Years

A transgender woman who went AWOL from the Marines 31 years ago will be issued a discharge with honorable conditions from the military.

BY Michelle Garcia

January 15 2013 6:18 PM ET

Elizabeth Tremblay

A transgender woman who went AWOL from the Marines 31 years ago will be issued a discharge with honorable conditions from the military.

Elizabeth Tremblay entered the Marines in 1980 after learning she would be be trained in teletype communications, according to Maine's Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal. A year later, after her duties changed to driving Jeeps and trucks, she decided to leave without being properly discharged or granted leave.

Tremblay returned to her home in Maine to work at L.L. Bean and Bates of Maine. In the 1990s she began taking hormones, changed her name to Elizabeth from Donald, and underwent partial gender transition surgery. In 2001, Tremblay suffered a back injury in a car crash, and she has collected disability insurance ever since.

A warrant for Tremblay, charging desertion, was discovered by the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office last September. She was arrested and held in a jail for two and a half days. She has since awaited further punishment from the military, only to find she will just be discharged.

And though Tremblay enlisted in 1980 as Donald, her new discharge papers use her name Elizabeth Marie Tremblay.

Tags: military

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