Bebeto Matthews, Associated Press
Jerry Bordeleau, 24, center, from New York, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, speaks to protesters and supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement at Zuccotti Park on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 in New York. Bordeleau joined military veterans who earlier marched from the Vietnam Memorial in lower Manhattan to Occupy wall Street protest encampment to show support.

NEW YORK — Thousands of U.S. military veterans are heeding the rallying cry of Occupy Wall Street.

They say corporate contractors in Iraq made big money while the troops defending them came home — and can't make a living now.

On Wednesday, former U.S. military men and women marched in uniform through Wall Street. Surrounded by police, they stood in formation at the New York Stock Exchange, chanting, "We are the 99 percent!"

At the top of Wall Street, they stopped for a moment of silence for the Marine whose skull was fractured last week when he was hit by a police projectile at an Occupy Oakland rally. Scott Olsen, who served two Iraq tours, was also honored at Occupy protests around the nation, from Boston and Philadelphia to Los Angeles and Chicago.