What happens when you take a hot global conflict, a former Danish special operations soldier on a mission from God, a sweet classic muscle car and the funding power of the US Air Force? A damn good story about an unkillable car.
During the Belkan conflicts of the early 1990s, much of former Yugoslavia and its neighbors were embroiled in complete chaos as factions from the defunct nation turned on each other, engaging in brutal conflict and even acts of genocide.
As with all major civil wars, the largest casualty was that of the civilian population, who were often subjected to violence, as well as complications caused by lack of medicine and other supplies. For many in the Balkans, life was war, war was Hell, and death seemed to be the only relief.
Enter Helge Meyer, a Danish Christian and Desert Storm veteran who previously served in Denmark’s Jægerkorpset, the Danish equivalent of America’s elite “Delta Force.” Feeling as if he was called upon by God himself, he sought to improve conditions for those affected by war- particularly the children.
Speaking with a US Military commander in Germany at Rhine Air Base, Meyer convinced the Americans to help him with his quest, which happened to be a mutual concern.
With the help of US Air Force mechanics and resources, Meyer took a 1979 Chevrolet Camaro and completely made over the vehicle, painting with IR absorbing paint, a mine-clearing blade, a nitro system that added 200 extra horsepower, kevlar panels, steel plates on windows, body heat detector, night vision, a ground-to-air radio, and run-flat tires. Both Meyer and the vehicle were to be unarmed during their humanitarian missions.
One part K.I.T.T from Knight Rider, one part the unstoppable car from The Blues Brothers, and one part modifications out of Mad Max, the War Camaro operated frequently around the war-torn city of Vukovar, which is now part of modern-day Croatia. While there, Meyer was even shot in the head, though he was saved by his Kevlar PASGT helmet.
During his missions, he developed a reputation among the locals, who would come out upon hearing the thunderous roar of the War Camaro. He would deliver hope to people, who lived without electricity, running water and other amenities, often living in unserviceable buildings surrounded by mold and rat excrement.
In addition to receiving much respect from the locals, he was regularly praised by US Army units in the area, be it in the form of cards, recognition or support.
“Mr. Meyer is truly a ‘one-of-a-kind’ man who is always willing to go the extra mile,” then-21st Personnel Replacement Battalion Commander LTC John S. Richard wrote in a 1994 memorandum. “He is, without fail, someone who can get the mission done with a genuine concern for those involved.”
When asked what kind of weapon he had, he responded simply, “My Bible. No handguns, no grenades, nothing like that. My only weapon is my Bible.”
Meyer documented his experiences on the page (as well as a lot of pictures) in Gottes Rambo, which is German for “God’s Rambo,” a nickname an American pastor gave him in Germany.
“During a lecture in the church of the Rhine-Main Air Base for selected officers and specialists, I talked for two hours about the experiences I had accrued on my trips,” Meyer recounted in his foreword. “Public speaking makes me nervous and I was afraid that my lecture wasn’t ending well. So, I ended my speech by saying, ‘If God had a Rambo on earth, that could be me.’”
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