When Christy Hinnant finished her eight years in the U.S. Army in 2012, the veteran found that life outside the military’s structured environment left her feeling lost. Now studying psychology at UNCG, Hinnant was featured by writer Katie Arcieri in The Business Journal’s Feb. 14 issue.

“It was a very hard adjustment period for me,” Hinnant, 27, told the Journal. “I felt like I wasn’t contributing.”

Hinnant is one of the thousands of soldiers who will separate from the military as the country winds down from conflicts in the Middle East. She is also a member of UNCG’s veterans population which, at 250 last spring, has doubled since 2007.

Armed with an associate degree that she earned online through the American Military University while still on active duty, Hinnant said she began looking at schools in the Triad to complete a bachelor’s degree. She looked at UNCG, and was sold on the university when she learned it is rated as one of nation’s most military friendly institutions by Victory Media, a media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, the story said.

Using her G.I. Bill benefits, which cover education expenses for 36 months, she expects to complete her undergraduate degree in psychology in December. Future plans include pursuit of a master’s degree in clinical psychology so that she can counsel other military members who are transitioning into civilian life or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the Journal reported.

Hinnant, who also suffered from PTSD, told the newspaper she knows what it’s like. The combination of her own experience and education at UNCG will allow her to identify with fellow soldiers in a way that a traditional therapist might not.

“I just think having that connection will put them at ease,” she said.