BROOKLYN - Staff Sgt. Michael Trantham and his family had no idea Christmas was coming early for them this year.

The Louisiana father of four who serves at Fort Hamilton was picked for a special holiday surprise from the Sears Heroes at Home program that helps military families nationwide.

"When I walked in, I was overcome with this sense of gratitude because these are the types of things that really keep soldiers going," Trantham said. The family was given gifts including a plasma TV and a DS for Trantham’s son.

The Heroes at Home program has helped 19,000 families this year. The program is made possible by money donated from customers and Sears employees.