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Production on “Valor” started years before SEAL Team 6 took out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The directors hope their film isn’t perceived as “cashing in” on the heroic raid.

Mr. McCoy and Mr. Waugh said “Act of Valor” ultimately is the story of the brotherhood and sacrifices of the SEALs and their families — something they think most Americans take for granted because of a lack of knowledge.

“These guys are putting out for us back here, to keep us safe,” Mr. McCoy said. “Let’s connect with that. Let’s embrace that now.”