OK, unfortunately, yes, in order to gain the auxiliary benefits off of a spouse, the marriage has to be sufficiently long, i.e. at least 10 years. On the positive side, we can earn our own benefit which, if we work consistently full time, can be substantial. Also, if you marry a second or subsequent time, and remain married for 10 years or become widowed while married at last 9 months, you can collect a spousal benefit (up to 50% of his) or a widow benefit (up to 100% of his) on that next marriage.
There is absolutely no exceptions to the 10 year requirement, unfortunately. That said, you may want to inquire of your non-federal (state/county) assistance programs - you can go to your county medicaid office and there they often have food stamp programs and other assistance that can reduce the outlay you must pay of your own moneys, for basic needs. You can use food stamps instead of part of your 886 for food - leaving more of your 886 for your other needs. At times there can be utility assistance, etc. Also, some people, downsize the home or rent out a room for an additional $500+ income/month (or reduction in the amount she must come up with for the rent or mortgage/utility) to stretch her dollars.
With regard to veteran status, that makes no difference in SS. For any benefits rights relating to veteran status, you will want to inquire of the VA law. But indeed, yet, remarriage can be the best financial option, if you have someone in mind with a strong work history, giving him a large benefit (larger than yours).