POLAND, Maine (CBS Connecticut) — A transgender woman could be facing jail time for desertion after leaving the Marine Corps 31 years ago.
According to the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, Elizabeth Tremblay – formerly known as Pvt. Donald Tremblay – was jailed four months ago on the desertion charge after leaving the Twelve Palms, Calif., base decades ago. Tremblay is now worried that the Marines might try to punish her even further.
“I knew they would come looking for me at some point,” the 57-year-old told the Sun Journal. “I didn’t expect it would take 31 years.”
Tremblay claims to have been living in plain sight for years. She legally changed her name 15 years ago but kept the same Social Security number.
“I’ve been stopped by law enforcement several times, you know, speeding tickets and things like that,” Tremblay explained to the Sun Journal. She assumed her record was checked. “Nothing happened.”
Tremblay tells the paper that she told the Marines where she was going after she left.
“So, I told them I was going to Maine, and I was staying in Maine,” she told the Sun Journal. “If they wanted to find me, call my parents. They didn’t say anything. I just did an about face and I left.”
Tremblay left because she says she was upset that they were going to send her to North Carolina to learn to drive jeeps and trucks instead of the communications position she says the Marines promised her.
“I don’t have any regrets because I don’t know how else I could have handled it,” she told the paper.
The Marines have yet to make a comment on the case.