Giving Compass' Take:

• Former U.S. marine Scott Cooper has become an advocate for refugees' rights, arguing that welcoming those in need is not only humane but also makes our country safer.

• With the political debate over immigration as heated as ever, it's important to hear voices like Cooper, who have seen many different perspectives on the issue. What steps are you ready to take to support refugees? 

• Read about what donors can do to help refugees all over the world.

Scott Cooper can often be found in the corridors of the U.S. Capitol, speaking with lawmakers and aides and anyone else willing to listen. His mission: making sure refugees remain welcome in the United States of America.

Cooper, 46, is accustomed to fighting for his beliefs. He spent two decades as an aviator with the U.S. Marine Corps, completing five tours of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan before retiring as a lieutenant-colonel. Now a civilian again, he continues to defend his country and the humane ideals upon which it was built.

“When you get out of the military you think, ‘What’s the next mission?’ Seeing those affected by war, protecting human rights and national security led me to start Veterans for American Ideals last year to advocate for military interpreters and Syrian refugees.”

Read the full article about why refugee compassion is important to security by Joanne Levine at UNHCR.