Hi Mr Larry.my husband die when he was 58 and at that time I was 45 and working as told me that I had to be 60 to file for widow benefits. I because disable at the age of 58 and now IAM 60 I file for widow benefits they made a decision and told me that I am approved but they can't pay me . I received 1872 a month my husband was also in the military for 7 years
I'm sorry for your loss.
Unfortunately, I can't really give you much advice you because I don't have enough information to know if you could have qualified for benefits sooner.