Sure, they're a little dirty, and maybe some of their language is a bit rough, but they've left behind family and friends, as well as the creature comforts the rest of us take for granted, to make a stand for what they believe in.
It's just too bad that today the mainstream media is focusing on the spoiled, incoherent clowns of Occupy Wall Street and ignoring our young fighting men and women.
The mainstream media's cameras can't get enough of these pierced protesters, with their crudely written signs proclaiming their unfocused discontent and general anger at society's selfishness in failing to satisfy their every want and desire.
Of course, those cameras discreetly turn away when the placards demanding socialist revolution and blaming the Jews come out. The protesters' function is to demonstrate inchoate outrage simply by being there. When they start talking, they start alienating the normals.
These are Potemkin protesters, community organized by government worker unions to allow liberal Democrats a way to triangulate to the center next year. Only the rebel media outfits will actually stick a mic in the protesters' dirty faces and let them talk.
What comes out is a confused hash of gripes about their banks, complaints about their student loans, and whining about the quality of their jobs.
Tragically, graduates of Ivy League universities brandishing master's degrees in minority women's studies are not getting jobs that pay enough to service their $150,000 student loans. Who could have seen that coming?
At least the troops have real jobs, though the monthly paycheck for a private first class of $1,729.80 starts looking even less princely when you figure that the Army is a 24/7 gig, as opposed to a 4-to-8 shift at Starbucks.
And our troops have to worry about staying in one piece while the worst threat a barista faces is a stockbroker outraged that he got a venti half-soy/half-chai latte instead of a grande.
Even as the protesters count down the number of days of their "occupation" of downtown parks and sidewalks, on Oct. 7 our troops marked the 10th anniversary of war on battlefields where their next step could make them triple amputees.
But the troops would not complain to the cameras even if there were any left in the war zones documenting their struggles. They aren't whiners. They may be the same general age as the Occupy Wall Street gang, but they occupy a very different, less frivolous world.
On a windy mountaintop in Kunar province, a tired 22-year-old infantryman on patrol rests and shares a swig of warm water with his buddy. In Manhattan, a 22-year-old from Scarsdale shares a bong-load of killer weed with a guy sporting dreadlocks and a Che T-shirt he got at Hot Topic.
Nearby, a young lady whose TA canceled that afternoon's NYU oppression studies seminar so everyone could head to the protest feverishly types away at a screed about the militaristic inhumanity of American capitalism on her new iPad.
In Afghanistan, a young American soldier with a locked and loaded M4 assures a band of nervous Pashtun mothers that her platoon will make sure the Taliban don't come and butcher their daughters for the sin of attending school.
Across Zuccotti Park, a self-described human rights activist with a sociology degree from Yale screams "Fascist!" at the weary NYPD cop who told him to move along and stop blocking the street.
At the same time, a world away, a first-generation Mexican-American medic from Fresno who a year ago was graduating high school ignores the impact of AK-47 bullets all around him as he desperately tries to stop the bleeding from the sucking gunshot wound in his platoon sergeant's chest.
The Occupy Wall Streeters celebrate with ramped-up bongo drumming, high-fives and "up-twinkles" when they successfully defend the park from its rightful owners' attempt to clean up their filth.
Our exhausted troops quietly remember those maimed and lost liberating millions from unspeakable tyranny in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our troops likely don't give any thought at all to these spoiled adolescents. But if they did, they might suggest that if these Occupy Wall Street losers really wanted to fight injustice and build a better world, they would get a haircut, head to a recruiting station and occupy a pair of combat boots.
Kurt Schlichter is a trial lawyer, an Army veteran and writer based in Manhattan Beach, Calif.