There is a provocatively rational comment on the New York Times website about it; some of it:
military and national honors such as this are really all we as a country can offer our bravest service members. Think about all the incredibly brave and selfless servicemen and women who have given the best years of their lives, suffered grievous injuries and hardships and too often given their lives for our country. The very best we can give them is honors such as these as there is no level of monetary compensation or other benefits that measure up. So if Congress is to allow Mr Buckles such an honor for just doing his job for a short period of his life, how should we honor the limbless, blinded and traumatized veterans of IEDs from our current conflicts? What about the the Vietnam veterans who came home to be hated. Or the Korean vets who no one has ever cared about.