Staff Directory & Board of Directors

  • James R. Porter – Captain USN (Ret) – President
  • Wesley Wieckowski – Colonel USMC (Ret) – Vice President
  • John R. Lilley II – Colonel USMC (Ret) – Secretary
  • Ronald Link – Sergeant Major USA (Ret) – Treasurer
  • Robert V Finch – Sergeant USAF (Ret) – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Gordon Tassi – Publicity
  • Dave Mather – Presentation Specialist
  • Brad Bradshaw – Lieutenant Colonel USAF (Ret) – Board Member
  • Ray Thomann – Board Member
  • Kevin Rychlik – Board Member
  • Jerry Martin – Board Member
  • Tammy Perkins – Board Member
  • Michael H. Lovett – Lieutenant Colonel USA (Ret) – Board Member
  • Charles Colgan Jr. – President Emeritus


James R. Porter Captain USN (Ret).

Capt Porter was born Sept. 21 1945, raised in California and graduated from the University of Southern California at Long Beach. While in the Navy he earned a Master’s degree at Southern Illinois University and at the Naval War College. He joined the Navy in 1969 became a Naval Aviator, He served 26 years as an AEW Pilot, logging over 5000 hours and 1000 carrier landings deploying on many aircraft carriers. He had an exchange tour with the Royal Navy and deployed on HMS Ark Royal. He command an E-2C Squadron deployed to the Med. He retired from the Navy in 1993 and started the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit at Osbourn Park High School, where he retired after 18 years teaching in Prince William County. Currently, he is the President of the Board of Directors at the Freedom Museum Inc. Located at the Passenger Terminal at the Manassas Regional Airport. He is a member of the American Legion, VFW and Woodbine Church. He is married to Pam Porter, retired Navy Nurse, living in Prince William County.


LtCol Wesley Wieckowski USMC (Ret)

Wesley Wieckowski was born in Barum, Germany on 14 November 1946 and raised in South Bend Indiana where he graduated from Washington High School in 1965.  He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 6 December 1966 and was trained as a Fire Control Radar Technician achieving the Rank of Gunnery Sergeant while serving as a Drill Instructor at the Pilot Commissioning School in Pensacola Florida.  He was promoted to Warrant Officer in 1977 and assigned overseas duties as an Avionics Officer.  He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant Limited Duty Officer (LDO) in 1980 and served as an Avionics Officer, the Marine Corps Deputy for Automatic Test Equipment, and as an Aviation Acquisition Specialist achieving the rank of Major.  In 1989 he was selected an Unrestricted Officer, designated an Aviation Maintenance Officer, and served as the Operations Officer and Executive Officer for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 (MALS 16) during Desert Strom/Shield.  He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol) in 1993 and given command of MALS 13 in Yuma Arizona.   LtCol Wieckowski completed his Marine Corps service as an Aviation Acquisition Professional and Assistant Program Manager Logistics for the Marine Corps CH53E heavy lift helicopter.  He retired from the USMC in 2000 with 33 years’ service.  Mr. Wieckowski then went to work for General Dynamics supporting the Navy and Marine Corps as a Senior Program Manager and then a Senior Director.  Mr. Wieckowski retired from General Dynamics in 2012 and became a Freedom Museum member in 2013.  He is married to the former Michiyo Iwaki of Japan and has 4 sons, a grandsons and a granddaughter.   He is an alumnus of the Defense Acquisition University, a member of the Marine Corps Association, Marine Corps Aviation Association, American Legion, Freedom Museum, and a Life Member of the National Rifle Association.


Colonel John R. Lilley, II

John R. Lilley II, was born on March 18, 1929.  He attended schools in Worcester, MA and graduated from Clark University in 1950.  Col Lilley married Nathalie Veronica Roche in 1953  He served USMC from April 1947 to June 1981, retiring as a Colonel.   Following enlisted service, he was commissioned June 1950 and served 10 months in combat in Korea as rifle platoon leader.  He served 13 months of combat in Vietnam and 3 MARDIV as CO 3d Engbn and Asst C-4 Cmdr LA Stud/VCB.  He served 3 years as CO 25th Marine Regiment in peacetime.  Following USMC retirement, he was the Executive Secretary for the Emergency Mobilization Preparedness Board, an instrumentality of the National Security Council.  August 1981 October 1985 He served as Director of Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, retiring from Federal Service at level four at the Senor Executive Service in November 1993.  He has two grown children, Russell and Barbara, five grand children, one great granddaughter and he resides in Catharpin, VA.  His military decorations include Silver Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon.  He is a life Member 3 MARDIV Association and 1st MARDIV Association.  He presently serves as Secretary of the Freedom Museum and works at a Personal Trainer with his own company, 1ST MARDIV association.  He also is a member of the parade Committee for the Annual Manassas Veterans Day Parade.


Robert V. (Bob) Finch – Volunteer Coordinator 

Robert V. (Bob) Finch was born in 1932. He has been married 35 years to Masuko Yamauchi Finch and has two daughters (one now deceased). He has six grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He attended U of Maryland, College Park and earned his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration (BBA). He served 23 ½ years enlisted service in USAF- 10 years in security and law enforcement and 13 years Russian and Vietnamese crypto logic linguist. He completed overseas tours on Santa Rosa Island, CA, Turkey (Remote), Germany (2X), and Okinawa (Combat Air Crew Member). He retired in 1996. He has over 24 years in Military Banking as Manager and District Manager (AVP) with American Express Bank and National City Bank. He’s worked overseas 18 consecutive years with assignments in Okinawa, Philippines, Japan, Greece and Germany and 4 years in commercial retail banking in Indianapolis, Indiana. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Freedom Museum as Volunteer Coordinator.


Ray M. Thomann, Board Member 

Ray earned his Bachelors’ Degree in Logistics in 1967 at Penn State University.  After graduation, Ray entered the Army and trained as a Helicopter pilot.  He experienced a combat tour with the 25th Infantry Division, stationed at Tay Ninh, RVN.  He had more than 1,300 combat flight hours.  He was stationed as an intelligence Officer in the 3rd Armored Division, Frankfurt, Germany.  He was a Unit Commander, Combat Assault Helicopter Company, 26th Aviation Battalion in Hartford, Ct.  In the U.S Army Reserve he was a pilot in the 76th Division (Tng) USAR, Aviation Section, Fort Devans Ma.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal w/2Oak Leaf Clusters and one “V” device, Army commendation Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster and his Army Senior Aviator Wings. Ray was employed with Mobil Oil in 1973 as an Operations and Budget Analyst and was involved in field operations. He held many positions, each carried with it increasingly more responsibly and authority.  At the time of his retirement in 2006, he had accumulated over 33 years of service at Exxon Mobil.


Charles (“Chuck”) J. Colgan, Jr. – President Emiritus 

Charles Colgan, Jr., developed the concept behind the formation of the Freedom Museum and is now devoting his full-time to the development of this facility. One of his primary duties is to coordinate relationships between the museum and Veterans organizations, the business community, and county, city and state funding sources which are so vital to this project. Mr. Colgan retired in early 1999 from GTE after being employed by them for 28 years. Before working for GTE, Chuck Colgan worked as a reporter/photographer for the Manassas Journal Messenger newspaper. He also served in the U.S. Army for two years (one tour in Vietnam), having the title of Senior Combat Correspondent with the 4th Infantry Division. He was the recipient of numerous awards based on his stories and photographs which appeared regularly in Stars and Stripes and other national publications. Mr. Colgan attended Northern Virginia Community College and National Lewis University in McLean, VA. Mr. Colgan has lived in Manassas, Virginia for 33 years with his wife, Patricia, and their three children.