The military had told her parents, that Hannah was killed in an accident. But the truth was more aweful.
Add this to the list of ways that things are effed-up in Iraq.
The cases can be especially brutal for parents who lose a child and struggle to understand why. In McKinney's case, many of the details are in a 1,460-page file and court-martial transcript obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
Now, her parents want her story to be fully told.
In the early days after McKinney's death, the Heavrins say they were told by Army officials that it appeared their daughter might have been run over as she crossed a street in the dark while going from a guard tower to a nearby latrine.
A drunken night in Iraq, a soldier left behind
Saturday, January 5, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 AM | By Donna St. George | The Washington Post
The sun had not yet risen in Taji. A young Army soldier lay alone in the dirt. She was alive, but barely. Her ribs had been crushed; her spleen, ruptured. Her right side was marked by the angular tread of a tire.
Pfc. Hannah Gunterman McKinney was 20 years old, the brown-eyed mother of a toddler son, when she was spotted in the headlights of a passing Humvee on a perimeter road at one of the largest U.S. military camps in Iraq.
Thirteen hours later, in Redlands, Calif., Barbie and Matt Heavrin, who had three children in the military, learned they had lost their elder daughter to "injuries suffered when she was struck by a vehicle," as the Army first described it.